More than 5,000 people have backed a campaign calling for the replacement of suspended coroner Dr Peter Straker to prevent delays to Muslim burials.
Members of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS) in Batley raised concerns about suspended West Yorkshire coroner Dr Peter Straker and presented a petition with more than 5,000 signatures to Kirklees Council’s cabinet on Tuesday.
As reported in the News, Muslims across North Kirklees are up in arms over what they claim are needless delays to burials of loved ones.
Families said Dr Straker, who is being investigated, had delayed Muslim ceremonies by ordering too many post mortem examinations.
Under Islamic beliefs, funerals should take place within 24 hours of death if at all possible.
IMWS chairman Aziz Daji said: “What we would like is to get a coroner in that can work with the community.
“We do know that he’s under investigation so we have to wait for the outcome of that.”
Mr Daji said the society wanted to work with the council to develop better protocols around Muslim burials and improve existing procedures regarding post-mortem examinations, what happens when someone dies and when burials take place.
The IMWS campaign has asked for three things: for a meeting with the council to be held to address the Muslim community’s lack of confidence in Dr Straker if he is reinstated; if he is not reinstated, for the council to be involved in selecting a new coroner, with the Muslim community’s concerns represented; and for the council to appoint a person for the creation of a community-wide protcol on Muslim burials.
The society is also working with Muslim communities in Bradford and Huddersfield, as they all share the same coroner.
Mr Daji said councillors were responsive to the petition and the IMWS’ concerns.
He said: “We got a positive response from the leader of the council and the cabinet, who said they understood our concerns and will be liaising with Bradford Council.”
Mr Daji plans to present the petition to Bradford Metropolitan District Council in the next week.