June 30, 2020 9:18:14 pm
Facing criticism over a video clip that showed bodies of coronavirus victims being dumped in a large pit in Karnataka’s Bellari, Deputy Commissioner (DC) S S Nakul Tuesday tendered an “unconditional apology” and said he is “deeply upset and sorrowful at the manner in which the remains of the deceased were handled.”
In the video that surfaced online, six men wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits are seen dumping the corpses covered in black body bags into large pits in what appears to be a cremation ground.
#Karnataka| Video from #Ballari surfaces on social media indicating how dead bodies of those who succumbed to Covid-19 are dumped into a pit. Ballari Dy Commissioner issues an “unconditional apology.” Investigation on. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/JcZooxzuyA
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) June 30, 2020
The men are also heard speaking in Kannada on how to “dump” the body. “Let’s dump it all in one pit and close it,” a man in PPE kit is heard saying to which another replies, “yes, first let’s close it soon.” An Earthmover can be seen next to a van from which bodies are taken to the pit.
Hours after the video went viral, Ballari Deputy Commissioner (DC) S S Nakul tendered an “unconditional apology.”
“Few videos are circulating in social media showing footage of burial procedures. An enquiry was ordered under Additional Dy Commissioner, Ballari and it was found that the video belongs to Ballari and comprises of the burial of 8 people who succumbed to COVID19,” the statement read.
“The District Administration regrets the incident and hereby unconditionally apologizes for this incident to the families of the departed in particular and people of Ballari in general,” the note issued by Nakul read.
Maintaining that all SOPs were duly followed in the burial of Covid patients, the DC said in the statement, “the video shows that protocols/SOP to be followed for burial (body bags, lining etc.) have been strictly followed. However, District Administration is deeply upset and sorrowful at the manner in which the remains of the deceased were handled.”
“The entire field team involved has been disbanded and will be replaced by a new team trained by the HoD, Forensic, VIMS,” Nakul confirmed.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D K Shivakumar urged the government to take immediate action. “It is disturbing to see bodies of COVID patients who have died being dumped inhumanly into a pit in Ballari,” he said.
It’s disturbing to see bodies of COVID patients who have died being dumped inhumanly into a pit in Ballari.
Is this civility? This is a reflection of how the govt has handled this Corona crisis.
I urge the govt to take immediate action and ensure that this doesn’t happen again. pic.twitter.com/lsbv5ZUNCR
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) June 30, 2020
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services Tuesday confirmed six more fatalities linked to Covid-19 in Ballari. To date, 29 people have succumbed to the infection in the district.
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