The Delhi Police say that there is a massive difference between the statistics on COVID deaths collected from the crematoriums in the Indian capital and the data presented by the state government.
A senior Delhi Police official told Sputnik on condition of anonymity that earlier this month, they were directed by the federal government to get data on cremations and burials — COVID or non-COVID— to take stock of the ground reality of the pandemic.
"We were doing it to know the ground reality. The process of compilation of data has been initiated from 1 May. Until now, we have found a massive difference (the number runs in the thousands) between the data we collected from crematoriums and that which the state government provides", he said.
"All the district officials have been told to visit the cremation grounds of their area to collect data from those in charge of cremation/burial grounds, covering rural areas as well. All the data is shared with the seniors during morning diary briefing, and later it is handed over to the Crime Records Office (CRO)”.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which compiled the data on the death toll from crematoriums, has also slammed the Delhi government for allegedly hiding the real number of fatalities due to COVID-19. The city has three civic bodies - North, South, and East Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), administered by the federally governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
This year, between 1 April and 17 May, the Delhi government claimed that 10,462 people died due to the coronavirus. However, the MCD's data accessed by Sputnik shows that 20,225 bodies of COVID victims were cremated at different crematoriums and burial grounds.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led government has claimed that they have always maintained transparency and said that the issue should not be politicised.