Body of COVID Patient Dumped in UP River: Two Caught on Video Held
The act of two men dumping a body into Rapti river was filmed by some locals who were in a car, on 28 May.
The Balrampur police on Sunday, 30 May, booked a local resident, Sanjay Kumar, for casting the body of a deceased COVID-19 patient into the Rapti river on Friday, 28 May.
Kumar had been caught dumping the body into the river, with the help of an accomplice, in a video, which had gone viral on social media on Sunday.
The deceased, Kumar's 65-year-old uncle, had lost his life to the viral disease on Friday, after being treated at the Balrampur District Hospital, as per an Indian Express report.
An FIR was filed against Kumar at Uttar Pradesh's Kotwali police station after the emergence of the incriminating video on social media.
According to an IE report, the complaint, registered by an ambulance driver, said, “On 29 May, around 12.30 pm, a person named Sanjay Kumar, who is the deceased person’s nephew, was handed over the body as per the COVID protocol. There is a video going viral on social media saying that hospital staff threw the body in the river, which is not true, as the body was handed over to family members, as per protocol.”
Both Kumar and the accomplice, Manoj, a local who allegedly helped Kumar in the act, have been apprehended by the police.
The two have been charged under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
What Was the Video?
A video of a body of a COVID patient being thrown in the Rapti river by two men, had emerged from Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur district on Sunday.
The act was filmed by some locals who were in a car while it rained on Friday.
This has come at a time when UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath’s government has made repeated appeals to people to not throw bodies in the rivers of the state and burn them instead. Only in mid-May did reports of several bodies floating and being buried near the Ganga were reported.
In the video, one can see two men, one of them in a PPE suit, lifting a body on the bridge. The man in the PPE suit can be seen holding the body for long, probably trying to get it out of the bag.
The victim has been identified as a resident of Siddharthnagar, and was admitted in Balrampur on Tuesday, 25 May. He then passed away three days later, on Friday, 28 May.
"Preliminary investigations have revealed that the patient was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday, and he died three days later. As per COVID protocol, the body was handed over to his relatives. The relatives threw the body into the river. We have filed a case and strict action will be taken," said Balrampur Chief Medical Officer VB Singh said.
The Chief Medical Officer of Balrampur had confirmed that the body was indeed of a COVID patient, and the relatives were trying to dump it in the river.
(With inputs from IANS, The Indian Express and The Times of India)
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