The Aligarh district administration has pressed the panic button after the demise of a real estate businessman on Tuesday due to Covid-19 as it emerged he had organised the 13th day ritual after his mother’s death on Sunday, which was allegedly attended by over 100 people, including local politicians and businessmen.
Besides, several people attended last rites of his mother who was unwell for quite some time. Scores of kin and friends visited his house before and after the mother's death as well.
“Over 200 people visited Saraf two weeks preceding his death including the Sunday event. We are trying to extract details from CCTV footages to trace them. The chain is quite long,” sources told FPJ. The administration has so far insisted over 60 people attended the Sunday ritual.
Soon after holding the 13th day ritual and “bhoj” of his dead mother Sunday, Shekhar Saraf (60) was admitted to a hospital on Monday as he caught fever and breathlessness. He died in the wee hours of Tuesday. His corona test report came after his death leading to a panic among those who attended the Sunday program.
People wonder how the district administration allowed such a large gathering in Aligarh despite the national lockdown norms in place.
Curfew was imposed in the area where he resided. Two hospitals where he was admitted were sanitised and staff tested.
Meanwhile, Saraf's brother and his family, who came from Lucknow to attend the mother's ritual last Sunday, tested positive in Lucknow on Thursday. Other 25 people from Lucknow attended the Aligarh program have been put to test now.
Scores of people in Aligarh, Gonda and other districts have been quarantined.
To cover up the issue, district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh tweeted on Friday morning, “We have lodged an FIR against 150 unknown and five known persons (including two sons of late Shekhar Saraf) for attending funeral of Shekhar Saraf's mother (24 April) in violation of epidemic and other laws.”
Aligarh has so far reported 66 Covid-19 cases, including the two deaths.
Meanwhile, in a late night development, six more persons related to the bizman family tested positive in Aligarh. Nine others too, though unclear as of now, if they attended the same gathering.