Multiple bodies were found buried in sand in at least two locations along the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district on Wednesday, NDTV reported. The incident came days after bodies of suspected Covid-19 patients were spotted floating in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and other parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Authorities have not been able to confirm yet whether the bodies were of Covid-19 patients. District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said that some of the bodies were found in an area far away from the river, ANI reported.
“Search being conducted for more bodies in other areas,” Kumar said. “I have asked team to carry out inquiry. Action will be taken accordingly.”
Kumar added that Buksar, one of the spots where bodies were found, is a major cremation spot for three districts of Fatehpur, Rai Bareily and Unnao, India Today reported. He said that while some people burn the bodies, others bury them in the sand by the river.
The incident follows a pattern that has occurred over the last few days.
On Tuesday, unidentified bodies, suspected to be of coronavirus patients, were found floating in river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district. Locals feared the corpses will contaminate the water and lead to the spread of the infection. Later that day, a similar incident happened inMadhya Pradesh’s Panna district.
On Monday, floating bodies in Ganga in Buxar district of Bihar had caused panic among the residents. While some reports said there were around 10 to 12 bodies, others said there were 40-45 corpses. Some reports placed the number even higher, at 150 bodies.
On Sunday, several videos showed corpses, also believed to be of Covid-19 patients, floating in the Yamuna river near Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, by Wednesday, the count of corpses found in the eastern Uttar Pradesh district of Ballia rose to 52, while that in Bihar’s border district of Buxar was 71, according to officials quoted by News18. Bihar Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chaitanya Prasad said that the bodies were dumped in Uttar Pradesh and had flown downstream. He said an investigation has been launched into the matter.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath took cognisance of the matter and instructed that the last rites of the bodies should be done according to the person’s religious beliefs, News18 reported.