Hyderabad: In a disturbing incident, the dead body of a 72-year-old Covid-19 patient was inhumanly towed away on a JCB earth moving machine in a small town in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. The incident took place in Udayapuram area of Palasa municipality bordering Odisha on Friday noon.
Civic body staff wearing PPE kits placed the dead body covered in a cloth on the front portion of the earth mover and drove it to the cremation ground.
According to official sources, the man died at his home and none of the family members were willing to keep the body for long. Neighbours too raised objections. His granddaughter, a government volunteer in the town, called the municipality staff to remove the body.
The man had worked as a class IV employee in the municipality. He had been unwell for quite some time. Recently, a Covid-19 test was conducted on him as part of the government’s door-to-door drive to test senior citizens and people suffering from symptoms.
His results came out to be positive on Friday, coinciding with his demise.
After the video went viral, the Chief Minister’s office called it inhumane and said that it is necessary to follow the rules to take the body to the crematorium, which was not done. At the same time, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Reddy has assured to take strict action against the accused. He said that this is inhumane, clear instructions have been given to the officers how to take steps in such cases.
The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered the magistrate of Srikulam to investigate the incident. Simultaneously, Municipal Commissioner Nagendra Kumar and sanitary inspector N. Rajiv have been suspended.
At the same time a political struggle has also started on this matter. Former Chief Minister and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu also expressed grief over the incident and strongly criticized the state government. He said that it is very sad to see Corona infected corpse wrapped in plastic and taken from JCB. He deserves respect even after his death. Jagan government should be ashamed of this inhuman incident. Let us tell you that a similar case had also come up in Andhra Pradesh recently when the body of a woman infected with Kovid-19 was seen on a tractor.