Buxar (Bihar) [India], May 16 (ANI): After several bodies were found floating in Ganga in Buxar district, Bihar police have stepped up vigil along the banks of the river.
BN Upadhyay, Assistant Sub-Inpsector in Chausa area of Buxar, told ANI that they perform last rites if they see any bodies.
"We are patrolling in river Ganga. If we see any dead bodies, we recover them and perform the last rites. We have not found any dead bodies today... Force has been deployed on the banks of Ganga to ensure nobody performs water burial," he said.
Lekhpal Jeet Lal Chaoudhary, who is part of a team patrolling the river in Bara, said if they find any body, they perform last rites. "These bodies are not of locals," he said.
Dhananjay Kumar Pandey, a priest at a Ganga ghat in Bihar's Buxar, told ANI that the bodies are likely to have come from Uttar Pradesh as people sometimes do not cremate them but jut put them in the river.
He said authorities have provided facilities for cremating COVID--19 patients. He said locals sometimes put bodies of those who die of snake bite or disease like TB in river but there was no body of COVID-19 victims.
He said bodies found in river had been tied to earthen utensils.
A priest at Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur said that the administration has banned putting corpses in the river.
"Is no one is dying of COVID in Bihar? The Bihar administration should see through the matter rather the accusing someone else," he said.
Bihar Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha had said earlier this week 71 bodies have been taken out from the Ganges in Buxar district and their last rites performed and a net has been placed in the Ganga in Ranighat, bordering UP and Bihar, to stop any similar incident from happening again.
The bodies were found floating in the river and there are apprehensions that the corpses could of COVID-19 patients.
Bodies have also been found in in Ganga in Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.
Jha, who is Miniter of Water Resources and Information and Public Relations, had said in a series of tweets that Bihar Government has advised UP administration to be vigilant in the matter.
"The Bihar Government is seized of the matter of unfortunate case of floating mortal remains in river Ganga, near Chausa village in Buxar district. The bodies have floated into Bihar from UP. Upon postmortem, our doctors have confirmed that these are 4-5 days' old bodies," he said.
Jha said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been pained at both the tragedy as well as harm to the river Ganges.
"He has always been particular about the purity and uninterrupted flow of the river and has asked the administration to intensify patrolling to ensure this is not repeated. Last rites of 71 bodies performed as per protocols. A net has been placed in Ganges in Ranighat, bordering UP and Bihar. We've advised UP administration to be vigilant; our district administration is keeping vigil too. Advise all to give all respect to those dead, and Maa Ganges," Jha said.(ANI)