There was an air of melancholy surrounding the Kampung Tualang cemetary in Pokok Sena today, when 21 bodies of human trafficking victims believed to be Rohingya refugees found in Wang Kelian last month, were buried.
Nineteen of the victims who were men, were buried en masse in a grave, while the bodies of two women were laid to rest in an adjacent grave.
Five police trucks were used to transport the bodies to the cemetery, located about 30 minutes from Alor Setar, accompanied with a motorcycle escort.
The burial began at 9.30am and was attended by residents of Kampung Tualang and other nearby villages.
The cemetery compound was heavily guarded by the police.
The bodies were buried after their autopsy was completed by Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah (HSB).
Yesterday, Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said the remaining 85 bodies in Wang Kelian will also be buried in the Kampung Tualang cemetery in stages, after their autopsies were done.
According to him, the burial rites of the victims were conducted by the Kedah Islamic Religious Council (Maik), while the costs were borne entirely by the National Security Council (MKN).
The menteri besar is scheduled to attend a tahlil ceremony right after the burial is completed today.
Also seen at the cemetery today were Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar, as well as officials from Maik, MKN Kedah, HSB, and the Kedah branch of Rohingya Society In Malaysia (RSM).