Karnataka: Viral video of alleged mass burial at Ballari reaches authorities, enquiry ordered

Mass burial of Covid-19 deceased in Karnataka

A video of an alleged mass burial in Ballari of COVID-19 deaths has surfaced on social media inviting much criticism against the district authorities. The video shows men in PPE kits disposing of what seem to be body bags. 

The district authorities were alerted of the viral video and upon receiving it, Deputy Commissioner SS Nakul has ordered an enquiry and investigation into the matter. It is not certain if the video is from Ballari or elsewhere as of now.

Authorities alerted over viral video

Since Monday a video of an alleged mass burial in Ballari, Karnataka has been on the internet. The video has attracted much disapproval. In the video men in PPE, kits seem to be disposing of body bags in an open pit that seems to have been disinfected. The voices heard in the background were heard speaking Kannada, and therefore reports emerged of the burial of dead COVID patients in Ballari.

The video sparked outrage online amidst the public who called it disgraceful and demanded action. However, it is not yet certain if the video was shot in Ballari or some other place. The authorities were alerted over the video.

What is drawing concern is the fact that Ballari witnessed 9 COVID deaths in a single day a day ago. The tally of deaths following the count stands at 28. Many feel that this video shows disrespect to the dead. 

The Deputy Commissioner SS Nakul ordered a probe into the matter led by PS Manjunath. The veracity of the video will also be checked. While speaking to the press, SS Nakul said, “We have to enquire if this is our (Ballari) video. We have to check if they’ve handled the last rites in a human manner and to create awareness if at all that is the case then we need to take action as well. We do send SOPs according to how lining and packing (of the dead bodies) should be done.”

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Speaking about the issue of mass burials he said, “SOPs don’t say anything about it. However, it’s always preferable to do separate body burials, from a humane standpoint.”

According to the government directives, COVID-19 victims must have deep burials, at least 10-feet deep, all orifices must be sealed and enclosed in three layers of PPE. The family members cannot accompany bodies to the burial site and the site should not be in the vicinity of the general public and must be disinfected with bleach beforehand. The results of the investigation into the veracity of the video and what will be the further steps are awaited.