30 bodies floating in Ganga trigger Covid panic in Buxar

Residents of Chausa village in Bihar’s Buxar woke up to the macabre sight of half-burnt bodies dumped in the Ganga washing ashore near Mahadev Ghat on Monday. Villagers said they saw at least 150 corpses, suspected to be of Covid-19 victims, floating down the river at dawn.

The Buxar district administration pegged the number of bodies at around 30. “The bodies are not of local residents. It seems they were dumped in neighbouring UP three to four days ago,” Buxar DM Aman Samir said. “Instructions have been issued to intensify river patrolling.”

A resident of the area told reporters at Mahadev Ghat that he and other eyewitnesses counted not less than 150 bodies. “The situation is dangerous. People in areas like Katgharwa, Kamharia and Chausa, among others, are in shock. They are now frightened to even visit the ghat for funerals,” he said.

The DM said the unidentified bodies would be cremated in accordance with Covid-safety protocol after autopsy. A probe had been initiated into “people dumping bodies” in the river.

Some locals attributed dumping of bodies in the river to the higher cost of organising the cremation of Covid victims and fear of getting infected.

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