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Amid Covid crisis, corpses found floating in Ganga in UP and Bihar. Here’s what we know so far

“We have so far fished out 71 bodies from the Ganga. We conducted a postmortem of all bodies and have also taken DNA and Covid samples," Buxar SP Neeraj Kumar was quoted by The Indian Express.

Close to 100 unidentified and decomposed bodies were found floating in the Ganga over a couple of days, sparking fear among the locals in several districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While 71 bodies have been recovered from Bihar’s Buxar district, other 25 bodies were fished from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district with locals suspecting them to be the bodies of Covid victims.

After Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in a horrifying video, at least half a dozen corpses were seen floating in the Runj river in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh.

Buxar police suspect the bodies may have floated from the neighboring Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh. Authorities of both the districts are yet to confirm if the bodies are of Covid victims. 

Bihar administration’s response

Assuring that the recovered bodies have been disposed of as per government protocols, Buxar SP Neeraj Kumar in a statement to The Indian Express confirmed, “We have so far fished out 71 bodies from the Ganga. We conducted postmortem of all bodies and have also taken DNA and Covid samples.”

Meanwhile, the Buxar District Magistrate Aman Sameer also informed that the local administration is now keeping a close watch on Ganga ghats to ensure that more bodies are not allowed to be dumped in the river.

Uttar Pradesh government takes swift action

The Uttar Pradesh government has also sprung into action by passing an order directing people to stop the ritual of Jal Samadhi followed by some communities in which bodies are disposed of in the river. “This order is being followed strictly in the state,” informed ADG Kumar. 

MP district administration shares details

The Panna administration in Madhya Pradesh too rushed to the village after the videos of bodies floating in the river went viral in social media. Sharing additional details, Panna collector Sanjay Mishra informed that the bodies disposed of were of two patients, a 95-year-old man and a cancer patient. The bodies were let in the river by locals as part of a ritual. These bodies have been fished out and buried properly, assured the officer.

Union Ministry takes cognizance of the matter

Taking cognizance of the matter, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekawat on Tuesday Tweeted, “We have taken serious note of the issue of dumping dead bodies in River Ganga and instituted measures for the prohibition of the same. The Centre through the NMCG and district authorities will ensure all unidentified bodies are disposed as per the protocol.”

The administration of respective districts have put in place strict protocols to ensure no such incident is repeated. 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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