Four days after dead bodies of suspected Covid patients were spotted floating on the Ganga river in eastern UP and Bihar, reports have now shown that multiple bodies have been buried in sand at two locations along the Ganga river in Unnao district.
Visuals from the two locations show buried bodies with locals looking on. Incidentally, most of the bodies were wrapped in a saffron cloth. However, there was no confirmation if these bodies were of Covid patients.
Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said, "Some people do not burn the bodies but bury them in the sand by the river. After I got information, I have sent officials to the spot. I have asked them to carry out an enquiry and we will take action."
The bodies were mainly found buried at the Rautapur Ganga Ghat in Hajipur area. Meanwhile, there is panic among the locals after it was found that bodies were being buried in sand on the banks of the river.
Shirish Gupta, a local businessman, said: "Monsoon is barely a month away and once the Ganga river becomes flooded with water, these bodies will be washed ashore. The district administration should exhume the bodies and perform a proper cremation."
Officials were tight -lipped on the suggestion. "It could create a law-and-order problem if we take out the bodies. We will see what best can be done," said a senior district official.
Sources said that ever since the death toll in the ongoing pandemic began rising, the prices of performing cremation have also shot up.
"A package for cremation according to Hindu rites, is now between Rs 15,000 to 20,000. It is obvious that poor people cannot afford it and they are opting for riverside burials," said Gupta.
It may be recalled that on Monday, scores of dead bodies had been washed up on the banks of Ganga in Ghazipur and Ballia districts. Bodies were also found in Buxar in Bihar.
Hindus revere the Ganga as the holiest of rivers but consigning bodies to it is not part of any religion's traditions, including Hinduism.