Mass funerals in Malin: 1.2-lakh kg wood, 3,500 litre kerosene, old tyres used to light pyres

All the bodies were sent for autopsy after identification efforts and finally dispatched for mass funerals in phases.

Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Malin | Updated: August 2, 2014 10:33 am
Funeral of the victims near the site of a landslide in Malin village in Pune on Friday. (Source: PTI) Funeral of the victims near the site of a landslide in Malin village in Pune on Friday. (Source: PTI)

Around 1.2 lakh kg wood and nearly 3,500 litre of kerosene were used for lighting up pyres for mass funerals carried out in phases of bodies recovered from the landslide that hit Malin village in Ambegaon taluka, Pune, till Friday.

Used vehicle tyres were collected from garages located in Ghodegaon, Manchar, Junnar and nearby villages for adding to the pyres to sustain the fire as the wood was getting wet during transportation due to rain. Specially arranged vehicles were used to transport large number of tyres to Malin.

The otherwise fresh air of Malin village, which is nestled between lush green mountains and located in the vicinity of the huge backwater of Dimbhe dam, became dense with smoke emanating from the pyres.

“I lost my grandmother and uncle among other family members in the landslide. The body of my grandmother is yet to be found. I never ever thought that I would have to attend the cremation of so many bodies at one time,” said 45-year old Tukaram Gari, who was attending the mass funeral carried out on the bank of the river by the village.

A total of 70 bodies were recovered during rescue operations at the landslide hit place by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams till late evening on Friday. All the bodies were sent for postmortem after identification efforts and finally dispatched for mass funerals in phases.

While Bhimashankar cooperative sugar factory, which is managed by state assembly speaker and local MLA Dilip Walse-Patil, has arranged wood supply, tehsil office has been providing kerosene.

“Around 12 trucks, each containing minimum 10 tonnes of babul (acacia) and other wood, has been supplied so far to Malin with help from Bhimashankar factory. Wood has become wet due to rains and can be lit only after sprinkling ample amount of kerosene,” Ranganth Shinde, wood supplier, said.

Representative of Rajgurunagar-based Chandramugut Oil Agency, which has been roped in by revenue department for supply of kerosene, said inflammable liquid was being carried in plastic cans upto the crematorium after getting supplied through tanker. “Since Malin is located at high altitude area, rain continues almost whole day during monsoon season. Such downpour is making wood wet and it is not getting lit unless sprinkled with water. Over 3,500 litre of kerosene has been used in the mass funerals,” he said.

Walse-Patil said people were coming forward in large numbers to help in the rescue operations. “Social organizations, corporate houses and other groups have started relief operations for affected villagers and rescue teams. The ex-gratia has been already announced by the government. We will decide future course of action for rehabilitation shortly once the rescue operation is over,” he said.

NDRF officials, who will carry out rescue operations for at least the next three days, said that more human dead bodies and livestock are still buried under the landslide.

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  1. A
    Anil Tandale
    Aug 2, 2014 at 10:23 am
    Now it is the turn of envrion"mental"ists, to write reams about the pollution which is caused by burnt wood and tyres. These interlopers are regular fixtures on the occasion of Diwali, Lohri and Holi, with the sole purpose of denigrating every Hindu ritual and festival. They have invented new shield of child labor being used for manufacturing crackers for Divali. But these environmentalists / "civil" society do not date to protest about 1440 knots being part of one square inch of Kashmiri carpets which could be done only by employing / deploying kids.
  2. J
    jay kay
    Aug 4, 2014 at 10:03 am
    Ignore him - he is merely an inferior trying to bring down his obvious superiors ....
  3. J
    jay kay
    Aug 4, 2014 at 9:52 am
    Yeah, yeah sure buddy - keep blaming other people for the problems YOU create. Enjoy dying of cancer slowly. P.S. Why are you pretending to be so upset over kids working to earn a living? I thought you guys were BIG on child labor in India!
  4. D
    Aug 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm
    The pollution! Wet wood and rubber tyres as inflammable material. Let alone the amount of carbon particulate matter, , we are choking the atmosphere with carbon mono-/dioxide, benzene, butadine, dioxins, mercury, zinc, hexavalent chromium and the list goes on and on. Many of these are known carcinogens and get into the food chain including breast milk. Many of these emissions are also primarily factors that affect the environment in adverse ways, with variations in weather patterns. Why can't we have portable crematoriums with emission filters that can do the job effectively, using cleaner power. We can take the step to mitigate such weather caprices. Be the change, make the change, before it is too late.
  5. A
    Aug 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    a dead body buried according to Islamic rituals decomposes and imilate into the soil, thus returning the elements into the soil.This is how natural fertilizers are made, bio-waste is buried into soil...and with time, small organisms turn it into natural some basic science before u post islamophobic comments !!!
  6. I
    Aug 2, 2014 at 9:02 am
    Why media wants to count wood and kerosene? Does immoral media imply that thats wastage of energy resources? What about acres of good land taken by muslims and christians and made it useless for living humans by burying their dead ones? why media dont measure the land occupied by their dead ones right int he middle of cities where many families can live in houses if used for housing. Stop this immoral, traitor, aanti hindu atude media
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