Karnataka minister to perform rituals for 1,200 unclaimed bodies of COVID victims

During the height of the second COVID wave, Bengaluru registered the highest number of COVID deaths after New Delhi.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Monday is conducting the ‘Pinda Pradana’ ceremony for the unclaimed bodies of 1,200 COVID-19 victims at the Gosai Ghat on the banks of the river Cauvery near Sriranganapattana in Mandya district.

‘Pindas’ are balls of cooked rice mixed with ghee and black sesame seeds offered to ancestors during the Hindu funeral rites and ancestor worship. According to traditions in the Garuda Puran (Hindu religious scripture) offering a ‘Pinda’ to a recently departed soul helps to unite the soul with its ancestors. Revenue minister R. Ashok will take part in the ceremony along with Deputy Commissioner of Mandya district S. Ashwathi, Under Secretary to Government Manjunath Prasad and Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Narayana Gowda.

Earlier, Minister Ashok took part in the ‘Asthivisarjan’ (the ceremony of immersing ashes of dead bodies into the river) on June 2 for these 1,200 unclaimed bodies from Bengaluru and surrounding areas. The ceremony was held at the Cauveri River near Sri Kashi Vishwanatheshwara temple in Belakawadi in the Mandya district. The place is known as Dakshina Kashi.

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The puja started for the ‘Pinda Pradana’ ceremony of 1,200 persons around 8 a.m. with the worshipping of Lord Ganesh. After immersing in the ashes of dead persons, minister Ashok will offer his prayers at Sri Ranganatheshwara temple. Later, he will also take part in another religious ceremony in which puja is offered to the departed souls. Dr Bhanu Prakash Sharma, who is in-charge of conducting the religious ceremony, said after the ceremony dignitaries will have lunch there.

During the height of the second COVID wave, Bengaluru registered the highest number of COVID deaths after New Delhi. There were huge queues near crematoriums and people struggled to perform the final rites of the family members. There were a large number of unclaimed bodies in Bengaluru and surrounding areas and the government had made funeral arrangements in the outskirts of the city.

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