Dead bodies washed up on the banks of Ganga were sighted for a second straight day today -- this time in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. The spot is around 55 km upriver from Bihar's Buxar, where more than a hundred bodies were found yesterday, evoking shock and anger. The Bihar authorities had argued that the corpses had floated down from Uttar Pradesh, as their state has no tradition of consigning bodies to water.
With Covid rapidly spreading through the rural parts of north India, the bodies in the river are suspected to be of Covid patients.
In absence of any Covid protocols at rural crematoriums, locals are fearful of further spread of the infection and families have been forced to consign the bodies in the river, it has been suspected.
Amid fear of locals that the contamination of water will lead to rapid spread of the disease, the local authorities have said that they are investigating the matter.
"We have got the information. Our officers are present on the spot and an investigation is underway. We are trying to find out where they came from," MP Singh, the District Magistrate of Ghazipur, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The locals have complained about the stench and accused the authorities of ineptitude.
"We informed the administration about the matter, but no action has been taken by them. If the situation continues like this, there is fear of us getting infected by coronavirus," said Akhand, a resident, reported ANI.
Citing the Buxar incident, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, tweeted that he has asked the concerned states to "take immediate cognizance".
"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," he said in a Hindi tweet.
Yesterday, over 100 decomposing bodies washed up on the banks of Ganga in Buxar, spreading panic among locals about a Covid spike in the area. Dozens of bodies were seen floating in the river at Chausa town, located near the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border.
The authorities, who disposed of the bodies, said it appeared that they had been in the water for five to seven days.
The bodies led to a blame-game between UP and Bihar, with the Congress alleging that they gave were evidence of Covid deaths the Uttar Pradesh authorities were hiding.