Speaking virtually to elected representatives of village panchayats and municipalities from across Goa, Sawant said the village panchayats and municipalities should cooperate with people during the pandemic crisis.
"I felt bad on Sunday. The Bastora sarpanch and villagers refused to cremate the body of a local resident. Where was he from? Was he not from the same panchayat (jurisdiction)?" Sawant added.
On Sunday, relatives of the deceased victim Ashok Naik had alleged that the Bastora village panchayat had refused permission to cremate him as he had died from Covid-19. The body was later taken to another cremation ground where the final rites were performed.
According to Ranjit Usgaonkar, the panchayat was not involved in the decision to refuse cremation of the deceased Covid-19 patient.
"We do not know who has refused to cremate Ashok Naik. The panchayat does not take such a decision. The decision is taken by the local temple committee. There could be a misunderstanding among the victim's relatives," Usgaonkar said.