Kurnool: Days after Australia-based NRI was fleeced by a private ambulance staff to the tune of Rs 85,000 citing funeral expenses for his father who died of Covid-19 in Kurnool, district collector G. Veerapandian, on Monday, directed the police to register criminal cases against the ambulance staff.

Kranthi Kiran, an NRI from Melbourne, Australia, put out a selfie video on how he was cheated. Kranthi Kiran’s father, K. Sainatha Rao, 67,  fell sick in Kurnool and the private ambulance arrived to pick him up on August 14 . On the way to the hospital, Kiran’s father passed away. Then the staff of the private ambulance created a drama saying that the death was due to Covid-19.

The ambulance staff told Kranthi Kiran that it would not be possible to hand over the body as it was infected and the staff, led by Jayaraj, fixed the price at  Rs 85,000 for cremation.

From Australia, Kranthi Kiran paid Rs 50,000 to one Patnam Suresh Babu, his relative while the relatives paid Rs 35,000 to the ambulance staff for cremation.

Later, the NRI came home to Kurnool and understood that he was exploited by the ambulance staff while he was mourning the death of his father. He also came to know that the Andhra Pradesh government was spending Rs 5,000 on each Covid-19 cremation.

The TDP leaders also criticised the AP government and they asked the officials to clarify what happened to their promise of providing Rs 15,000 for funeral expenses for bodies infected with Coronavirus.

“From the beginning, the YSRCP government has been managing the show by telling lies and betraying the people. It has been totally insensitive to the woes and travails of the common people in the face of Covid threat,” the TDP leaders said.

Expressing displeasure over the incident, Kurnool district collector Veerapandian said that the death was not due to Covid-19 and the private ambulance misled the family and resorted to extortion.

The police registered a case against the ambulance staff and arrested Jayaraj. Investigation is on to nab a few others in connection with the case.

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