Kolkata : After a video of civic workers insensitively handling dead bodies went viral, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday expressed anguish and sought urgent update from the state government on the matter.
"Make transparent disclosure as regard to dead bodies - when admitted; what treatment given, which hospital, cause of death and importantly Bed Head Ticket. How can human dead bodies be so uncouthly dragged! It shames humanity," the West Bengal Governor tweeted.
Asking the civic authorities and the police to follow law and protocol for disposal, Dhankhar said that he was anguished at the disposal of bodies with heartless and indescribable insensitivity.
"Not sharing videos due to sensitivity. I have sought an urgent update from the state home secretary on the issue. In our society dead body is accorded highest respect and rituals are performed as per tradition," he said.
He further tweeted saying that human rights activists and media owe it to people to be proactive by making it a test case.
"State cannot be allowed to slide into a ‘police state' and deprive its citizens of rights under Article 21 of Constitution and virtually eclipse human rights and be repressive. We are not a police state. To inject such fear in public is authoritarianism. Repressive measures do not augur well for democracy," Dhankar added.
He also said that rather than booking those responsible for such inhuman criminality, the police are being misused to ‘teach a lesson' to those who exposed it.
A video went viral on social media showing decomposed bodies being dragged into a Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) van one after another in broad daylight in the Basdroni Police Station area. The video was purportedly shot outside the Garia crematorium where disgruntled locals reportedly objected to the cremation of 14 decomposed bodies.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the KMC board of administrators, Firhad Hakim, said the bodies were not of Covid patients, but were unclaimed and identified bodies.
"Muzzling of media or people by police arm twisting will not work anymore...Response from the state Home secretary has come with virtual admission about callous handling of dead bodies promising procedure will be streamlined," the Governor said.