Aadhaar becomes mandatory for last rites in PM Modi’s constituency

It has become mandatory to show the Aadhaar card of the deceased at Varanasi’s Manikarnika, Harishchandra Ghats for last rites. It’s also required to avail services of corpse-carrying boats

Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images
Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images
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Vishwadeepak

There’s no escape from Aadhaar even in death. This card has become mandatory for even the last rites in Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi's constituency, Varanasi.

According to local media, authorities performing last rites at Varanasi’s Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat have been asked to check the Aadhaar card of the deceased before conducting last rites.

In collaboration with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Aadhaar has been made mandatory for last rites, claimed a Hindi news paper.

Those who do not have Aadhaar cards, will not be permitted to use services of the corpse-carrying motorboats, confirmed a source. Interestingly, the corpse-carrying motorboat services at Manikarnika Ghat are provided by a Gujarat-based foundation headed by Sudhanshu Mehta.

Sudhanshu Mehta is the founding manager of the Josler Hydrocarbons india Pvt Limited. The Sudhanshu Mehta Foundation started corpse-carrying motorboat services in 2015 and it was inaugurated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Gujarat-based Hindu preacher Morari Bapu.

It has been alleged by a Varanasi based social activist that the idea was first mooted by the Sudhanshu Mehta Foundation, following complaints of some suspicious last rites.

A Varanasi-based social activist, who wished to remain anonymous, alleged that the idea was first mooted by the Foundation, following complaints of some suspicious last rites.

Sudhanshu Mehta is considered close to Navsari MP and PM Modi’s representative in Varanasi, CR Patil. CR Patil looks after developmental works in villages adopted by Modi under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) in Varanasi.

Mehta was earlier associated with the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. When this correspondent contacted him, he said that his foundation does provide steam boats, however, he denied knowledge of the Aadhaar card becoming mandatory for last rites.

“I am in the United States. You have to check with the local authorities,” he said and quipped that he would have to pay international roaming charges if the correspondent did not disconnect the call.

When Manish Pandya, who is also associated with Sudhanshu Foundation, was contacted for details about this development, he said he would call back.

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