A head constable of Kotwali police station in Baghpat has been suspended for disposing of the unclaimed body of an unidentified 55-year-old man by burning it using kerosene, tyres, plastic waste and parts of uprooted trees near the cremation ground. The Baghpat SP has also ordered an inquiry after a purported video of the incident was shared widely on social media.
“The body was recovered from the forests in Sisana near Baghpat on the morning of January 7. We waited for three days to ascertain the details of the deceased from any missing persons FIR lodged in Baghpat district police stations, but we got no inputs and asked (head constable) Jayveer Singh to get the last rites done. He seems to have pocketed the sum meant for cremation of unclaimed bodies and has been suspended,” said Rakesh Kumar Singh, in-charge of the police station.
Police said personnel entrusted with the responsibility of disposing of unclaimed bodies get a sum of Rs 2,700, according to a provision.
“Jayveer Singh told me that the wood he had purchased from the cremation ground was wet and hence he used tyres, kerosene and waste plastic to set it afire. But he could not give a proper reply on why he did not take the body to the cremation ground in a proper way,” said Singh.
Baghpat SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey told The Indian Express, “This is amply clear in the video that the unclaimed body has been incinerated… with tyres, plastic waste and minimal wood which is not only unethical but also against the procedure for burning such bodies. We have ordered an inquiry into the shocking incident while a head constable has been suspended.”
When contacted by The Indian Express, Jayveer Singh said, “The logs which I purchased from the cremation ground were wet, so I used tyres and kerosene to light the pyre. Once it caught fire, I removed the tyres but that portion has been deleted from the video… I have also tendered a written apology to the SP for not cremating the body at the cremation ground.”