Coronavirus victim's body carried in a JCB to the crematorium in Andhra Pradesh
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 27, 2020, 11:29 am
The body of a 72-year-old man, who succumbed to the novel coronavirus, in Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, was shifted from his house to the crematorium in a JCB earth mover vehicle, which has led to an outrage from various sections of the people and those among the state's Opposition political leaders as well. Since the incident came to light, two officials have been suspended by the Srikakulam District Collector J Nivas among whom include the Palasa Municipal Commissioner Nagendra Kumar and Sanitary Inspector N Rajiv.
The victim was a former municipality employee and had tested positive for COVID-19 during the door-to-door survey for the infection. He passed away in his home at the Palasa town in the Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. His death raised concerns among the neighbours as to how his body could pose a risk to others in the neighbourhood after which his granddaughter, a government volunteer, informed the municipal authorities for it to be shifted.
The incident came to light across the nation after a video was released on social media showing the victim's body being transported to the crematorium from his house in a JCB vehicle with officials in personal protective equipment. According to reports, the sanitary inspector was forced to bring a JCB machine with municipality workers as there were no ambulances or any private vehicles such as autos and taxis that would come forward to transport the body to the crematorium.
The Chief Minister's office, upon learning of the incident, called the handling of the victim's body "an inhumane act" and added that protocols in place to transport the body were not adhered to. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has stated that strict action will be taken against those behind the act while condemning the incident, which has sent shockwaves across the state. The CMO's office issued a statement saying, "It is inhuman and protocols have already been clarified on how to deal with such cases,". An investigation into the incident has been ordered by the Andhra Pradesh government.
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu took to his Twitter page to share the video of the incident while tweeting, "Utterly shocked to see the dead bodies of coronavirus victims wrapped in plastic and transported on JCBs and tractors. They deserve respect and dignity even in death. Shame on YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's government for this inhumane treatment." Check out the tweet below:
Utterly shocked to see the deceased bodies of #Coronavirus victims wrapped in plastic & transported on JCBs & Tractors. They deserve respect & dignity even in death. Shame on @ysjagan Govt for this inhumane treatment of the mortal remains pic.twitter.com/BobjAdIZC8— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) June 26, 2020