The Bihar Post



PATNA—Hapless villagers in Bihar are frequently dumping the bodies, suspected to be of Covid victims, in various rivers in Bihar, perhaps unable to meet the rising cost of cremation or wait longer to their turn to perform last rites at the cremation centres.

The continuing developments have triggered fresh fears of epidemic with the rotting bodies emitting foul smells in the areas and polluting the water bodies.

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The residents in Patna were shocked when they spotted multiple bodies packed in PPE kit floating near the banks of the Ganges today and dogs feasting on them near the Gulabi ghat, one of the cremation centres in the state capital. Although the officials maintained tightlipped, the floating bodies wrapped in PPE kits amply explained they were of Covid victims.

Patna district magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh said a number of bodies, including that of a child, were found floating in Ganga.

“We are keeping a check to ensure the bodies are jot dumped into the river,” the DM said, appealing to the masses to refrain from throwing bodies in the river.

The fresh development comes barely a day after 81 bodies were found floating in river Ganga in Buxur district of Bihar earlier this week.

Although it is not clear if they were of the Covid victims, the local administration hurriedly fished them out and buried on the banks the river to ensure they don’t cause health hazards. The local administration has also deployed security guards at the cremation centres in Buxur and installed a big net across the Ganga river in Bihar.

“We found at least 10 bodies entangled in the net we installed in the river. This proves the bodies came from UP and were not dumped by the local residents,” Aman Samir told The Statesman over phone today.

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He said they failed to establish the reasons behind their death since the postmortem could not be conducted as all the bodies were highly decomposed.

Similarly, some ambulance drivers have been found dumping the bodies packed in PPE kits in the sandy beds of Ganges from the Jaiprabha bridge build over the river in Saran district while in Siwan, several bodies have been found dumped in Gandak and Ghagra rivers.

Recently, the residents of Yogiyadih village in Siwan’s Guthani block blocked a path leading to cremation centre after finding suspicious faces carrying bodies and dumping them along the river bank.

Villagers have brought the matter to the notice of local district magistrate saying the people are throwing bodies into the river without proper cremation.

Many say the villagers are dumping the bodies into the river since they are not in a position to cough up a hefty sum, as high as Rs10,000, to crematorium staffs in lieu of consigning bodies of their near and ones to the flames.

Space crunch and shortage of fire woods are other problems even as the cremation centres working overtime with the number of people dying from Covid-19 remaining high.

“How can you expect the poor to cough up heavy amount to the people in charge of crematoriums when they don’t have enough money to buy drugs for their ailing families?” asked “Save Ganga Campaign” activist Guddu Baba.

Many villagers also said the families were leaving the bodies of the dead into the rivers out of sheer compulsion. Even as the Covid has left a devastating effect on the masses in its second wave, the state government has enforced total lockdown in Bihar since 6 May, causing severe job crisis before the poor.

Courtesy: The Statesman

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