Chandigarh, May 15: A video of a daily-wager carrying the corpse of his 11-year-old daughter on his shoulders in Punjab's Jalandhar has gone viral on social media, prompting district authorities to order a probe into the incident.
In the video, which was shot by some passersby on May 10, Dilip can be seen carrying the body of his daughter Sonu on his shoulders to the cremation ground for her last rites. His son was also with him.
Talking to the media on Saturday, Dilip said his daughter had not been well and he took her to a hospital in Amritsar for treatment on the advice of doctors at a Jalandhar hospital.
He said his daughter died on the evening of May 9 at the Amritsar hospital.
After he brought the body to his room in Ram Nagar in Jalandhar, his neighbours did not come forward to help him fearing that the girl was a COVID-19 patient, said Dilip, who hails from Odisha.
Meanwhile, Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori ordered a probe into the whole incident after the video went viral on social media.
He said it was found that the minor did not succumb to COVID-19.
The DC said as per an inquiry conducted by the sub divisional magistrate, the cause of death was not COVID-19 as she had tested negative for the infection.
He said the girl was admitted in Jalandhar Civil Hospital from where she was referred to the Amritsar Medical college.
An ambulance carried the patient to Amritsar, where she remained admitted in the surgical ward.
After the death, an ambulance again dropped the body back in Jalandhar at their house.
The DC assured fulsome support to the family in this hour of grief.
COVID Patient Tracking Officer (CPTO) Navneet Kaur Bal said no one in the family or anyone in the area came forward to seek help in the cremation.
She said in normal cases (other than COVID deaths), once the body is handed over to the family, they take care of the last rights. However, in the present case, no one approached her for help in cremation.
Bal also stated that the cremation protocol is followed only in case of COVID death, however this case was different as the deceased had tested negative for the infection.
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Kolkata, May 23: Alleging that the Union government was using central agencies to interfere in matters of the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday stated that the BJP-led dispensation was "bulldozing the country's federal structure".
Condemning the Centre's "attempts to interfere", she said that the "situation under the BJP-led government was more adverse than what it was under dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Benito Mussolini".
She also said that central agencies "should be given autonomy" if democracy was to be protected.
"The BJP-led central government is using the central agencies to interfere into the state affairs. It is bulldozing the federal structure of the country. There is a Tughlaqi rule in force," she maintained, addressing a press conference at the state secretariat.
Banerjee, without taking names, said that the "agencies cannot work because there is no autonomy. The autonomy lay in the hands of two persons and the BJP. Such political interference was not prevalent during the time of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Benito Mussolini".
Notably, the Bengal CM had long been accusing the BJP government at the Centre of using central agencies like the CBI, the ED to "harass" opponents, including those from her party.
The CBI is looking into a series of cases in Bengal involving violence, rape and smuggling, notable among them being incidents of post-poll violence after last year's assembly polls.
"I want the central government agencies to be given autonomy so that they can work impartially. There should not be any political vendetta. Let the government provide the agency employees with salary and nothing else. I am the first person to raise the issue... this has to be done if we want to save democracy in India," she insisted.
The CM, during the meeting, also criticised the alleged move by the Bihar Police to demolish huts in Malda on Friday.
"A team of police came from Bihar and demolished huts in bordering areas of Malda. You should have informed Bengal Police? What's happening in the country?"
The Bihar Police allegedly demolished nine huts in West Bengal's Malda district along the inter-state boundary and assaulted several residents, including women, when they protested the drive, officials have said.