Earlier this week, scores of bodies had washed up on the banks of river Ganga in Bihar, spreading shock and anger. It is suspected that the bodies are that of Covid patients.
Bihar has knocked at the Centre’s door, calling for an investigation into the corpses flowing down the river Ganga, reiterating that they are coming from Uttar Pradesh. Bihar minister Sanjay Jha today tweeted Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. “You must definitely see where these bodies have come from. The Bihar government will cooperate in every way in its investigation,” his tweet read.
In another of a series of tweets, Mr Jha — who handles the state’s water resources portfolio — said: “There is no practice of consigning dead bodies into rivers in Bihar. You know that if a body is thrown into a river, it first drowns and after a time comes to the surface and floats away. These bodies have come from far away. Doctors have said in the postmortem that all the bodies are 4-5 days old”.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is hurt by the practice of dumping the bodies of suspected Covid patients into the river, which is “inhuman and insulting to Mother Ganga”, he posted.
Earlier this week, scores of bodies had washed up on the banks of river Ganga in Bihar, spreading shock and anger. It is suspected that the bodies are that of Covid patients. In Buxar district, 71 bodies were retrieved from the riverbank.
Videos of a bridge near Bihar border in Saran district doing the rounds on social media showed bodies apparently being thrown into the river from ambulances stopping at the spot. Locals said the ambulances belonged to both states.
More bodies have been found in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, around 55 km upriver from Buxar.
Yesterday, the chief of National Mission of Clean Ganga issued an order barring the dumping of bodies into the river.
“Dumping of bodies/partially burnt bodies/decomposed corpses in the rivers not only causes pollution in the river, but is also unhygienic and increases the risk of spreading infections in the communities inhabiting along the along the banks of the rivers, warranting emergency measures,” the order read.
The letter, sent to Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, also ordered the states to keep vigilance “along the length of the river” to check such incidences. The states have also been asked to dispose of the bodies according to Covid-19 protocol and send a compliance report within 14 days.
Mr Shekhawat, who controls the Central Jal Shakti ministry, had tweeted the order. The accompanying post read, “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”.
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. pic.twitter.com/lfKBiGA0vE
— Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) May 11, 2021
On Tuesday, a day after bodies were found in the Ganga at Buxar, the minister said in a Hindi tweet: “The incident of corpses found floating in Ganga in Buxar region of Bihar is unfortunate. This is definitely a matter of investigation. The Modi government is committed to the cleanliness ”mother” Ganga. This incident is unexpected. The concerned states should take immediate cognizance in this regard”.