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Big rise in cremations cast doubt on Amritsar’s official count

Those incharge of affairs at Shivpuri cremation ground near Durgiana Temple and cremation ground Shahidan near Gurudwara Baba Deep Singh in the city say that the total cremations have been over 1,000 in April.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: May 7, 2021 7:13:26 am
punjab covid death, punjab cremation ground, punjab covid cases, Amritsar covid deaths, Amritsar covid cases, Amritsar covid cremation ground, Indian expressWorkers build platforms to tackle the space crunch at crematoria, in Amritsar Thursday. (Express photo by Rana Simranjit Singh)

Amritsar district has recorded 283 Covid-19 deaths in the month of April, if the Punjab Health Department is to be believed.

While this official figure includes both rural and urban areas of the district, the two main crematoriums in Amritsar city have seen an alarming rise in cremations in April which points to a much higher death rate.

Those incharge of affairs at Shivpuri cremation ground near Durgiana Temple and cremation ground Shahidan near Gurudwara Baba Deep Singh in the city say that the total cremations have been over 1,000 in April.

These two cremation grounds are used for cremation of bodies of the city population, while every village in the district has its own cremation ground.

In fact, Shivpuri cremation ground is now constructing new platforms for cremations in the wake of increasing deaths in the city.

The Manager at Shivpuri cremation groung, Ramesh Chander Sharma, said, “We are constructing a new platform as number of dead bodies has increased many times. In normal times, 10 to 12 dead bodies were cremated every day. But now we are cremating around 25 to 30 dead bodies every day.”

According to Ramesh, total 791 dead bodies were cremated only at the Shivpuri in the month of April. 166 of these deaths were official Covid-19 deaths. Officially, reasons of 625 deaths were other than Covid-19.

“Otherwise, around 300 non-Covid dead bodies are cremated every month. But in the month of April only, 600 non-Covid bodies were cremated,” said Ramesh, questioning how non-Covid deaths could double up suddenly.

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