Body count in thousands along the River Ganga in Eastern UP amid the Second Wave of COVID19

More than two thousand dead bodies suspected of COVID-19 patients have been found along the banks of river Ganga in 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Ganga
Bodies of suspected Covid-19 victims are seen in shallow graves buried in the sand near a cremation ground on the banks of Ganges River in Prayagraj, India, Saturday, May 15, 2021. Photo and Caption Credit :AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

The Uttar Pradesh administration which has earlier been criticized widely for hiding the number of COVID-19 deaths and prohibiting photography at cremation ghats is now trying to cover up shallow graves and dead bodies allegedly of COVID-19 patients along the river Ganga which flows in the state for 1140 km before entering Bihar.

Districts located on the bank of the river Ganga are faced with another challenge while they continue to struggle against the raging Coronavirus. Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar has reported from 27 districts in Uttar Pradesh that more than two thousand dead bodies have been found along the river Ganga. These bodies are suspected to be of COVID-19 patients who were either buried in shallow graves or abandoned along the bank of the river. The situation is particularly worrisome in districts like Unnao, Kanpur, Kannauj, Ghazipur, and Ballia.

More Than Thousands of Dead Bodies Found in Just Three Districts

In the Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh, close to the Mahadevi Ganga Ghat, nearly 350 dead bodies that were buried along Ganga have been discovered.People working around the ghats tell that the corpses which are buried along the river bank tend to appear when the water levels rise and the sand gets washed away.

A similar situation has left the people of Kanpur aghast, where more than 400 dead bodies have been found in an area that is not more than half a kilometer buried near the Khereshwar Ghat. Dogs, vultures, and crows have been spotted feeding on these corpses.

Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh hosts the largest COVID-19 burial ground in the country. In the last few days, more than 900 shallow graves and mutilated body parts have been spotted near the Shuklaganj Ghat and the Buxar Ghat. Meanwhile, the district administrations in all three areas in an effort to hide the dead bodies have started to cover them with soil.

Close to Unnao, nearly 20 dead bodies have been found buried along the bank of the river Ganga in Fatehpur. A conflict arose on Thursday when the issue came to light, where officials in both areas were of the view that the corpses were not from their area and must have come floating from the adjacent region. After eight hours of negotiations, it was decided that the local administration where the bodies have shown up will be responsible for their cremation.

Corpses Everywhere in Several Districts in Purvanchal

In Prayagraj city, 13 dead bodies have been discovered so far. The police were able to identify three of them as a result of suicides and the rest 10 were cremated. In Chandauli’s Barora village more than twelve corpses were discovered along the Ganga river bank and were later on buried by the local police. One dead body was also spotted at the Fatha Ghat in Mirzapur. In the city of Varanasi, near Suzabad seven dead bodies were found together which were buried deep near the river bank itself by the police with the help of JCB. It is being told that every day a few dead bodies are discovered around the river bank.

Situation Has Worsened Multifold in Ghazipur

In the Ghazipur district, corpses are being discovered floating in the river or along its bank continuously for quite some time now. A few days back a report by Dainik Bhaskar claimed that more than 110 dead bodies were found in the river and provided video proof showing at least 52 of them. The dead bodies were taken out of the river and then buried by the police. Spotting 10-12 corpses in the river has become a daily affair in the city.

Located right next to Ghazipur, in Ballia district 15 dead bodies have been found in the river and buried by the police near the ghat. The police force has been deployed along the bank of the river Ganga. An order has been passed prohibiting people from burying dead bodies on the riverbank or abandoning them in the river.

Western UP Has Remained Unaffected

Districts located in the western part of the state have remained unaffected by the recent trend of the appearance of dead bodies and shallow graves along river banks. In districts like Bijnaur, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Kasganj, Sambal, Amroha, Badayun, Shahjahanpur, and Farrukhabad, all of which lie on river banks, things continue as before. A few reports though have said that one or two dead bodies have been found on the river banks but nothing anywhere near the scale of what is being witnessed in eastern UP.

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