NRI Dunia
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Man finds mom’s ashes missing from crematorium locker

A Kaimbwala resident could not perform the ritual of immersion of ashes of his beloved mother, courtesy “mismanagement” at the Sector 25 cremation ground.
Ravi Verma, along with his family members and relatives, had an emotional setback this morning when the ashes of his mother, which were kept in a locker after the cremation, were found missing.

Ravi, who was to immerse his mother’s ashes in Haridwar today, could not do so. His 15 family members and relatives, a few of whom had especially come from London, for the immersion of the ashes were left disappointed. They went to Haridwar with broken hearts today to perform the ceremony without the ashes.

Ravi said his 70-year-old mother died during treatment at the PGI on August 20. The following day, she was cremated. He lifted the ashes and kept these in a locker after paying Rs 100 as registration fee on the cremation ground premises on August 23. However, today when he went to collect the ashes to go to Haridwar, he got the shock of his life.

Ravi said he was told by the staff there that his allotted token number 9 had been exchanged with token number 6. Those who had token number 6 had already taken away the ashes of his mother. When he spoke to that family, Ravi was told they had already immersed the ashes.

“After my mother’s cremation, this was the only thing we could have done for her to let her attain salvation. However, due to the irresponsible behaviour and mismanagement here, we are broken. We are shocked that such a system prevails in a city like Chandigarh,” said Ravi. He suggested that there should be common fee as he was asked to shell out a good amount on different occasions during the cremation.

Cops question staff

After Ravi submitted a complaint to the local police alleging theft of his mother’s ashes, the police started a probe.

“Though he alleged theft, it seems to be a case of mismanagement by the staff. We are verifying under what preview it will fall. We are questioning the staff,” said Shiv Charan, in-charge of the Sector 24 police chowki.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Section 297 (trespassing on burial places, etc) of the IPC against Ishwar Singh at the Sector 11 police station. Sources said Ishwar had only given the ashes to someone else.

‘Won’t let ashes to be stored’

Due to cases of missing or swapping of ashes, the management said they would stop the system for storing ashes here. “We are tired of this system. People come here and shout at us. We will shut the system to store the ashes. People can take the ashes along with them and keep these wherever they want,” Gulshan Sharma, in-charge of the cremation ground, told Chandigarh Tribune.

Not the first case

It is not the first incident that has eluded families from performing the last rites of their dear ones. Earlier also, four such cases were reported from the cremation ground.