Bodies Found Buried in Sand on Banks of Ganga in UP’s Unnao
Locals alleged that no arrangements are being made for the last rites and fear the bodies may be of COVID patients.
Just days after bodies of suspected COVID patients were found floating in the Ganga river in Bihar’s Buxar and Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur, multiple bodies have now been found buried in sand in UP’s Unnao district at two locations, just 40 km from the capital city of Lucknow.
Ganga is revered as the holiest of rivers in India. Meanwhile, locals believe the abandoned bodies may signal the extent of the COVID outbreak in the country. As can be seen in visuals, most of the bodies were wrapped in a saffron cloth.
A top government official in Unnao told the media that at least one of the locations is a major cremation spot for three districts, including Unnao.
‘Inhumane, Criminal’: Priyanka Gandhi
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra termed the incident ‘inhumane and criminal’ and called for a judicial inquiry into the matter.
What Local Authorities Are Saying
Though there is no confirmation if the bodies were of COVID patients, locals suspect that the bodies were abandoned in this manner due to lack of wood for funeral pyres at crematoriums.
District magistrate Ravindra Kumar was quoted as saying, “Some people do not burn the bodies but bury them in the sand by the river.”
He added, “After I got the information, I sent officials to the spot. I have asked them to carry out an enquiry and we will take action,” news agency ANI reported.
Kumar explained that three districts’ borders converge at Buxar ghat, which is a major cremation spot for the three districts of Fatehpur, Rai Bareily, and Unnao.
MP Singh, the Ghazipur District Magistrate was quoted as saying, “We have got the information. Our officers are present on the spot and an investigation is underway. We are trying to find out where they came from,” ANI reported.
Referring to the floating bodies found, Bihar Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said, “71 bodies were taken out from the river in Buxar district in Bihar and their last rites performed. A net has been placed in the Ganga in Ranighat, bordering UP and Bihar, to stop any similar incident from happening again.”
Locals alleged that no arrangements are being made for the last rites by officials and said that the stench continues to haunt them. They’re afraid for their health, fearing the bodies might be of COVID patients.
(With inputs from ANI)
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