Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh on Wednesday denied allegations that his government had shown disrespect towards the three martyred policemen by ferrying their bodies in a garbage collection truck.
“It was a new vehicle, which was cleaned and decorated with flowers before the bodies were transported,” said Singh, who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state government.
The driver of the muli-utility truck in question, Dayaram Sahu, said the vehicle, which belonged to Kirandul municipality, was regularly used to carry garbage. He was even seen driving it a day after the bodies were ferried to Dantewada town from Kirandul after autopsy.
Three of the policemen —Laxman Bhagat, Aslan Ekka and Bhushan Mandwai — were killed on Sunday night, after a vehicle carrying a team of seven hit a landmine planted by Maoists in Dantewada. The fourth died when he was being sent to Raipur for treatment.
Dantewada superintendent of police Ankit Garg said no ambulance was available at that time, forcing officials to use the municipality truck. He added that the truck was cleaned before the coffins were placed.
Dantewada collector OP Choudhary also confirmed this. “The vehicle was properly cleaned and maintained. There were other officials on the truck too. The issue is unnecessarily being blown out of proportion,” he said.
With agency inputs