In a 3-minute video shared by the official Twitter handle of BJP West Bengal Bengal, a group of locals could be heard objecting to the presence of health workers who were allegedly trying to dump the dead body of a Coronavirus infected patient in the colony, in the wee hours of the night.
The BJP unit of West Bengal accused the West Bengal government of “unceremoniously” dumping corpses of Coronavirus patients in residential areas by flouting official governmental norms and procedures. Pointing out the Coronavirus scare, they asked, “Will Mamata Banerjee show some ‘mamta’ (sympathy) for the people of West Bengal?”
Locals object to dumping body in their locality
“We are not loading or unloading anything”, a health worker draped in PPE overalls said at the very start of the video. For the next 1 minute, one could hear the barking of dogs and the indistinct chatter of the people in the background. The locals continued yelling at the health workers who had mysteriously parked their ambulance in a residential colony.
Why dispose bodies unceremoniously in the dark of the night? Do the dead have any dignity? Why take infected bodies to residential areas in violation of norms? This is how scary the situation in Bengal is, right now. Will Mamata Banerjee show some ‘mamata’ for the people of WB? pic.twitter.com/tomyE12KPo— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) April 24, 2020
“Body niya asacho toh tumra! Darao (You brought a corprse, didn’t you? Wait)”, the video creator could be heard telling the health workers. Another enraged local issued a veiled threat, “Tumra akhan thaka body ta niya palao, na holey ki korbo hospital jalabo (Take the corpse away, else we will burn the hospital).”
The three men in PPE overalls then stood cluelessly in the middle of the road while the locals vehemently objected to their presence and the alleged action of dumping the body of a deceased.
“Aee, ki hoccha akhana (What is happening here?)”, a person asked from afar. “Chole jaa na hola toder gadi jaliya debo (Leave else we will burn down your vehicle)”, another irked local could be heard saying in the background. “Gadi niya pala (Run with your vehicle)”, another rebuked.
The mysterious black bag
At exactly 3 minutes into the video, two health workers could be seen carrying a heavy black bag and loading it back into the ambulance. It must be remembered that they had initially denied “loading or unloading anything.” The initial statement made by one of the health workers directly contradicted the action of the other two in the viral contentious video.
“Ya dekho body utha raha hai (See! They are taking back the body)”, a man pointed out. The crowd kept booing the trio while they continued to put back the mysterious black bag into their vehicle. One of the healthworkers could be seen waving at the people, suggesting that they were leaving the colony. At that point, a localite inquired, “Toderka ke boloche (Who had told you…to come here?)”
The video has sparked controversy on social media with netizens questioning the West Bengal Chief Minister of withholding facts about Coronavirus-related cases from the public.
Corpses lying next to suspected Coronavirus patients
Earlier, in a video shared by Babul Supriyo, BJP MP from Asansol, a person admitted to an isolation ward in M.R.Bangur Hospital in Tollygunge in West Bengal narrated the deplorable conditions under which suspected Coronavirus patients were being quarantined. 45 seconds into the video, the man holding the camera pointed towards a dead body lying unattended on a bed for over 2-3 hours.
The video creator then highlighted the lack of proper social distancing provisions in the ward by citing the example of two other suspected Coronavirus patients who were sitting in close proximity to the body of the deceased. Given that the people in the ward were crammed together with little space between two beds, the probability of everyone getting infected from the Chinese virus thus increased.
After this incident came to light, the West Bengal government led by CM Mamata Banerjee had banned the use of mobile phones inside hospitals, saying that they could carry the coronavirus around.