Old Photos of Dead Bodies Floating in Ganga Passed Off as Recent
We found that the photos, which date back to 2015, were from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao.
Old and unrelated photographs showing corpses floating in the river Ganga have been shared with a false claim that they are recent images from Bihar's Buxar area.
However, we found that both the images date back to 2015 and are from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.
On Tuesday, 11 May, the Bihar government said that a total of 71 bodies had been fished out of the Ganga river in Buxar, where they had been found floating in a decomposed state. Several bodies were found floating in the same river in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur as well.
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sushil Kumar Gupta shared the photo on his Facebook page with a caption which when translated from Hindi says, "Around 500 bodies have been seen floating in the Ganga in Buxar and Birpur areas of Bihar, many bodies were in COVID-19 kits. These bodies, which have accumulated in an area of close to 30 km, are a living example of the insensitivity of both the UP and Bihar governments and it is a big blot on the system."
(Note: The images in the links below may be distressing to some. Viewer’s discretion is advised.)
Another photo which was shared with a similar claim showed vultures and crows flying over floating dead bodies. The caption of the tweet said, "गंगा मैया में बहती उतर प्रदेश के शव बिहार के बक्सर जिला पहुंचा।"
[Translation: The bodies people from Uttar Pradesh have flown in the river Ganga and reached Buxar district in Bihar.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We found that both the images are old and could be traced back to 2015. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
We conducted a reverse image search of the image and found that the image was uploaded on stock photo website Getty Images on 14 January 2015.
The image was titled, ‘100 Bodies Recovered From Ganga River In Uttar Pradesh’ and the caption read: “Scavenger dogs and crow gather around dead human bodies that are floating in Ganga river near Pariyar.”
The second viral image was also found on Getty Images, posted on 14 January 2015.
The caption read: "Vultures and crows fly over the Pariyar ghat where around 80 bodies were found floating in the northern town of Unnao on 14 January 2015. Around 80 bodies have been found floating in a stream of India's Ganges, sparking renewed concerns about the health of the sacred river where millions of Hindus cremate their dead, an official said."
WHAT HAD HAPPENED IN 2015?
Taking cue from here, we searched for news reports on the incident. A report in The Indian Express that was published on 14 January 2015 stated that nearly 100 decomposed bodies had surfaced near Pariyar Ghat in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
“Senior officials ruled out possibility of any foul play prima facie," the report added.
A report in the NDTV published in January 2015 mentioned that "both Kanpur and Unnao administrations had ordered an investigation into the matter and are making arrangements for the last rites.”
While several dead bodies have been recovered from Ganga in the past week, the viral images of scavenger dogs and crows gathering around the bodies in the river are from 2015.
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