The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) is currently involved in discussions to resume activities at the Caroni Cremation site.
This follows an incident at the site on Wednesday, where police shut the doors to the site, blocking the cremation of 8 bodies. However the Local Government Minister and teh Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation (TPRC) stepped in to restore operations.
Legal advisor to the SDMS, Dinesh Rambally on Thursday thanked the Corporation (TPRC) and the police for restoring operations at the Site on Wednesday while ensuring public health regulations were observed.
In a statement posted on the Maha Sabha’s Facebook page, Rambally dismissed reports that the site was closed because of an attack on a particular segment of society
He noted in the statement that an SDMS pundit contacted its secretary general Vijay Maharaj to tell him of the situation at the cremation site, and in turn he contacted Rambally.
Rambally said he spoke to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
He also spoke to TPRC chairman Kwasi Robinson and councillor Derek La Guerre, explaining the importance of the ceremonies and the concerns of the families who were locked out.
The actual reason was that the funeral homes involved had not registered the cremations and hence the corporation was unaware that ceremonies had been planned.
Rambally said he was pleased with the response from different agencies and emphasised there was no attempt to stop the religious practices of Hindus.
“I can personally vouch that more hands were on deck than might be immediately apparent. I am happy to say that the eventual outcome demonstrated a laudable approach of tackling an issue in a completely humanitarian and non-partisan manner all the while being mindful that traditional protocols and procedures must be respectfully observed.
“There was co-operation between the relevant authorities resulting in the avoidance of further hurt, inconvenience and financial strife of the bereaved families.”
Rambally also noted that the last rites, referred to as the Antyeshi Samskaar, were completed and SDMS pundits were hosting programmes to better inform the public of the importance of these rituals.