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Garbage truck for cops killed in Maoist attack

We had to shift the bodies from the blast site without any delay.

Written by Joseph John | Raipur |
June 29, 2011 2:10:57 am

The bodies of four Chhattisgarh policemen,who were killed in a Maoist attack in Dantewada district in Bastar on Sunday night,were transported in the local municipality’s garbage truck to the district headquarters on Monday morning. This has sparked protests against the “insensitivity and disrespect” shown by the authorities.

Security personnel D N Nagavanshi,Laxman Bhagat,Aslan Ekka and Bhushan Mandavi were killed in a blast triggered by Maoist rebels near Kirandul,nearly 45 kilometres from the district headquarters of Dantewada,on Sunday night.

Local police officials used a garbage truck,owned by the Kirandul municipality,to transfer the bodies to the district headquarters where the slain policemen were given a guard of honour,before the bodies were sent to their respective hometowns.

“We had to shift the bodies from the blast site without any delay. An ambulance was not immediately available. The police took the vehicle that was available,washed it and covered it with a plastic sheet before placing the coffins carrying the bodies of the security personnel inside,” said a spokesman for the state police headquarters.

Sources said a constable,who was entrusted with the task of dispatching the bodies for the guard of honour,telephoned the Kirandul municipality for arranging the vehicle.

Condemning the incident,senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma pointed out that ambulances were available at Kirandul as well as the nearby town of Bacheli,where the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) runs a well-equipped hospital.

Saying that it was an “insult” to the martyrs,BJP MLA from Dantewada,Bhima Mandavi,said he would meet Chief Minister Raman Singh for an inquiry to fix responsibility and take action against all those responsible.

After the guard of honour,the bodies were sent to their respective hometowns in ambulances. An ambulance carrying two of the bodies,which were being taken to their native villages in Jashpur,broke down at an isolated stretch along a bypass road early this morning.

Family members,who were accompanying the bodies,stopped passing vehicles and requested them to inform the Raigarh district administration and the local police for arranging another vehicle. But the local police expressed their helplessness,saying that no ambulance was available,leading to protests by the family members and the local people. An ambulance was later requisitioned from Kanker district and the bodies were dispatched to Jashpur,after a delay of almost six hours.

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