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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Stray dog nibbling away at ‘Covid body’ caught on video, PCMC issues notice to crematorium contractor

Hiraman Waghere, the contractor, said, "We deny that any such incident has taken place. We have no clue where the video was taken."

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: June 10, 2021 6:29:20 pm
PCMC issues notice to crematoriumThe PCMC has denied that the dog was biting the body of the deceased and said it is verifying the video clip. (File)

After a stray dog was caught on camera nibbling away at a partially burnt feet of a deceased man at Amardham crematorium in Nigdi on June 2, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has issued a show-cause notice to the contractor who was given the job of maintaining the crematorium.

“We have issued a show cause notice to the contractor who was looking after the Nigdi crematorium. He has been asked to reply within two weeks,” said PCMC Additional health and medical chief Dr Anil Roy.

Deepak Khairnar, a resident of Nigdi who recorded the incident on his cellphone, said, “I had gone to the crematorium for the cremation of the body of an acquaintance… When I reached the crematorium, I saw one stray dog trying to eat the half-burnt part of the body of a Covid patient… Other stray dogs can also be seen in the video.”

“The gruesome incident has happened. I have captured it on video… I fail to understand why PCMC is denying the incident…I think the PCMC is trying to protect the contractor,” he said.

“I wanted to capture the incident on video to highlight how Covid bodies are being treated at the crematorium. After that I shooed away the stray dogs… There is clearly lack of proper security in place as stray dogs are roaming freely within the compound. This must be happening at other crematoriums as well. Will the PCMC wake up and initiate strict measures to ensure that Covid bodies are treated with respect …,” he asked. Khairnar has complained to the PCMC commissioner and submitted the video proof as well.

Dr Roy, however, said the body was not of a Covid patient. “On June 2, the bodies of two Covid patients were cremated at the Nigdi crematorium. One body came at 1.20 pm. The family was present till past 3 pm… it is claimed that the video was taken at 6 pm. Till 6 pm, the body was still burning. The temperature is around 900 degree centigrade. In such a situation, it is impossible for human beings or even an animal to go near it.”

“Since we have the video footage available, we will verify whether it was actually filmed at the Nigdi crematorium. It does not seem to that of a Covid patient as of now… The person who filmed the incident had come along with the body of the second Covid patient …,” he said.

The family members of the deceased man, however, denied that any such incident took place at the crematorium. “We were present at the crematorium till the body was burnt past 3 pm….I don’t think any such incident took place. I have given in writing to the PCMC commissioner that we have no complaint whatsoever… if such an incident had indeed taken place, we would have been the first ones to complaint,” said the brother of the deceased.

Hiraman Waghere, the contractor, said, “We deny that any such incident has taken place. We have no clue where the video was taken. We had appointed nine persons for the upkeep of the crematorium. When the Covid body was cremated on June 2, there were five persons on duty…It was impossible for anyone to go near the body for seven to eight hours because of the extreme heat… We will submit our reply.”

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