ASO in Defence Ministry unable to attend mother's funeral due to lockdown

By Ashoke Raj

Faridabad (Haryana) [India], Mar 27 (ANI): Among the numerous stories of hardships being faced by people due to the nationwide lockdown announced to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the one of an Assistant Section Officer (ASO) working in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), who could not attend the funeral of his mother, stands out.

ASO Sudhakar Jha needed the permission of the District Magistrate (DM) of Faridabad to travel with family to Madhubani in Bihar, to attend the last rites of his mother who passed away due to cardio-respiratory arrest.

However, no sooner had he ventured out of his house he was stopped by the local police which refused to allow him to go out because of the nationwide lockdown.

"It was very shocking for me that my mother is no more, I went out of my house in Faridabad to take permission from the District Magistrate to travel to Madhubani, Bihar but I was detained by local police. They kept me in their custody for a while and released me only on the condition that I return to my residence. Despite my repeated pleas, the police did not listen to me," Jha told ANI here.

The bereaved son had even carried his mother's death certificate to get the required travel permission but was told by the police that only those could travel who were allowed by the DM.

Upon contacting the Faridabad DM, the official explained that similar permissions were granted recently and urged Jha to send his request through mail or Whatsapp.

"We received two such requests today and both were cleared. If he isn't one of them, then he may send his request through WhatsApp or email to get permission. We have also started granting portal based permissions," the DM told ANI through a message.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.

In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said that it is vital to break the chain of the disease and experts have said that at least 21 days are needed for it. (ANI)