71 bodies fished out from Ganga river near Buxar
At least 71 bodies have been fished out of Ganga river so far in Bihar’s Buxar district, where a large number of bloated and partially decomposed bodies were found floating in the river on Monday, triggering panic among locals and widespread outrage.
The bodies were netted from the river near Mahadeva ghat of Chausa, which borders Uttar Pradesh.
Buxar’s district magistrate Aman Samir, while confirming that 71 bodies had been recovered so far, said he had proposed for an autopsy of all the bodies. “But the doctors refused as the bodies are in a highly decomposed condition and seem to be five to six days old,” Samir said, adding that DNA of corpses would be preserved for any future need.
“Here at Buxar, as in Bihar in general, there is a custom to burn bodies after death on a funeral pyre. But when a team was sent to neighbouring Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, it found some people there believe in throwing the bodies into the river,” the Buxar DM said.
Bihar’s water resources minister Sanjay Kumar, a key aide of chief minister Nitish Kumar, also weighed in, claiming the bodies had flown downstream from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
“The Bihar government is seized of the matter... The bodies have floated into Bihar from UP,” Jha tweeted, adding that doctors had confirmed that deaths had taken place four-five days ago.
Meanwhile, the DM said preparations were underway for last rites of bodies. “The religion of the dead is not known and bodies are in decomposed condition. So, it has been decided to bury all the bodies. For this, large pits have been dug,” he said.
According to agency reports, corpses were found floating in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
“Our officers are present on the spot to investigate and ascertain where they came from. A probe into the matter is underway,” MP Singh, Ghazipur’s district magistrate, told ANI.
Union minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat termed the whole episode “unfortunate” and asked the states concerned 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 of ‘mother’ Ganga. This incident is unexpected. The concerned states should take immediate cognizance in this regard,” Shekhawat tweeted.