A video has surfaced from Andhra Pradesh which shows disturbing visuals of bodies of COVID-19 patients being buried with an earthmover, making it the third such incident reported in the state in one month. While the first two incidents took place in the districts of Srikakulam and Chittoor, this time, the incident happened in Nellore district.
The video, seemingly shot by passersby, shows a group of people wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits transferring four bodies from an ambulance into an earthmover at night.
All the bodies were then carried towards a pit that had been dug up and were all buried at the same time into it. The incident took place near the banks of the Penna river in Nellore, according to sources.
Reacting to the incident, former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu tweeted, "Pained to see bodies of COVID-19 patients in Nellore being disrespectfully thrown into a single pit using an earthmover. This is happening time and again. YS Jaganmohan Reddy's government must offer an apology to the grieving families who wished for a respectful departure for their loved ones."
Pained to see bodies of #Covid_19 patients in Nellore being disrespectfully thrown into a single pit using an Earthmover. This is happening time & again. @ysjagan Govt must offer an apology to the grieving families who wished for a respectful departure for their loved ones. pic.twitter.com/1y4TSG2brv— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) July 10, 2020
After the video went viral, the Nellore district administration on Friday ordered a detailed probe into the issue.
In a statement, Nellore Joint Collector Dr N. Prabhakara Reddy of Nellore said that a detailed probe would be conducted and strict action would be taken against the concerned staff.
Nellore Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Hussian Sahib has been appointed as a special officer to conduct the enquiry and submit a report to the District Collector at the earliest.
Earlier, similar videos of bodies being buried using tractors and earthmovers took place in Srikakulam district’s Palasa town and Tirupati.
In the Srikakulam incident, the ruling YSRCP government said that it had taken action and suspended six officials involved.
In the Tirupati incident, the Municipal Commissioner explained that they used the earthmover due to the patient’s weight and age, after taking written permission from the family.