Amaravati: In a shocking incident, the body of a Covid-19 victim was carried on a JCB earth mover to the cremation ground by municipal staff in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district on Friday.
The incident took place in Udayapuram area of Palasa municipality after the 72-year-old died of COVID-19.
The PPE-clad municipal workers placed the dead body covered in a cloth on the front portion of the machine and drove to the cremation ground.
Following the incident, District Collector J. Nivas suspended Palasa Municipal Commissioner C. Nagender Kumar and the sanitary inspector. He also ordered a probe into the incident.
The man, himself a former employee in the municipality, died at home following illness. He had undergone Covid-19 test during door-to-door drive by the local authorities. The report of the test also came around the time of his death.
As neighbours put pressure on the family to remove the body, the deceased’s granddaughter, a government volunteer in the town, called the municipal staff to shift the body for cremation.
Palasa is already in the grip of Covid-19 fear and traders in this town and other parts of the district are voluntarily observing the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu tweeted that he was uterly shocked to see the deceased bodies of coronavirus victims wrapped in plastic & transported on JCBs and tractors. “They deserve respect & dignity even in death. Shame on Y.S. Jagan government for this inhumane treatment of the mortal remains,” he tweeted along with a video.