Dewas, May 23: The body of a 21-year-old man, who allegedly committed suicide, was taken for last rites in a garbage vehicle in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district, prompting the local civic administration to suspend its health official and terminate the services of three temporary employees.
The incident took place in Sonkatch town on Saturday following which a video of it went viral on social media. In the video, some civic employees were purportedly seen dumping the body in an empty garbage vehicle. The opposition Congress hit out at the BJP over the incident, but the ruling party said immediate action was taken by local civic authorities. According to sources, the victim, who was a resident of Rolupipalia village, had allegedly committed suicide and the body was being sent for last rites to a burial ground from the mortuary of a local health centre after post-mortem.
Sonkatch Municipality's Chief Municipal Officer Ravi Bhatt told PTI on Sunday that the civic body performed the last rites of 67 people since April 18 this year. Referring to Saturday's incident, he admitted that the unclaimed body was sent for last rites in a garbage vehicle. He said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident and taking a serious note of it, the civic body's health department in-charge was suspended and the services of three temporary employees, including a sanitary supervisor, were terminated.
Meanwhile, local Congress MLA and former state minister Sajjan Singh Verma targeted the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led MP government over the incident. In a couple of tweets, Verma said he had provided Rs 85 lakh for amenities in the Sonkatch Hospital from his local area development fund. "Despite this, dead bodies are being transported in garbage vehicle," he said. He also accused the BJP-ruled state government of "managing headlines and not performing the actual work". However, state BJP secretary Rahul Kothari told PTI that local civic authorities took immediate action into the matter. "Verma, who has represented this area in the state Assembly since a longtime, had earlier been a state cabinet minister. He also has some responsibility for such a situation in his constituency," Kothari said.