The acrimony between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state government Sunday deepened as he sought an apology from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over a viral video showing decomposed bodies being dragged into a van by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) employees.
“Horrendous, unimaginable horror of dragging human bodies by a pair of tongs would haunt us for long. Public apology (from) Mamata Banerjee by way of atonement is expected. This barbarity is an indelible taint on humanity. Disposal of dead body is a solemn act — dominated by spirituality,” Dhankhar tweeted.
The Governor has been targeting the ruling Trinamool Congress government for two days over the video.
The bodies shown in the video, which had gone viral on Thursday, were allegedly of Covid-19 victims and were being loaded into the van for cremation at a crematorium on the southern fringes of Kolkata. The state Home Department had on Saturday taken to Twitter and said fake news was being spread that the bodies were that of Covid-19 victims.
In his tweets on Sunday, Dhankhar said, “Calling the videos as fake is an inexcusable blunder — adding injury to a shameless insult. Those orchestrating remote controlled response @MamataOfficial have no idea of anger of people at enormity of this crime (sic). Before reacting, reflect — if one of the 14 was part of your family!”
He hoped that the details he has sought from the home secretary, the state government and KMC will be authentic and made available at the earliest.
“Chairperson Firhad Hakim is expected to brief me at the earliest on this grim episode. The issue is highly emotive and sensitive — a cover up operation… would be inflammatory,” tweeted Dhankhar, who shares a strained relationship with the state government since he assumed office in July last year.
Hitting back at Dhankhar, TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee asked him to turn the Raj Bhavan into a quarantine centre if he is so worried about the situation. “If he cares for people, then for the sake of humanity, he should throw open half of Raj Bhavan for treatment of Covid patients or turn it into a quarantine centre.”
Slamming Banerjee for his comments, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee said, “The state secretariat, Nabanna where the government is functioning in a five-star atmosphere, must be turned into a quarantine centre. The administration sits at the 14th floor of the building while the rest of the floors are unused. It is ideal for a quarantine centre.”
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