In a distressing news, over 100 bodies were found buried in sand in Unnao district. The news comes a few days after dead bodies of suspected COVID-19 patients were found in Ganga River in Buxar, Bihar. The images are truly triggering with several bodies spread across in sand wrapped in cloth.

Also read: Disturbing Visuals: Dead bodies of COVID-19 suspected patients found piled up on Ganga banks in Buxar

Background

As the crematorium centres across Indian burn overnight due to heavy fatalities caused by the deadly COVID-19 virus, locals from villages are hard-pressed to take their dead loved ones and submerge them in Gangas, the holy river in India or bury them at unassuming places. The nation reported 4,000 more deaths on May 13, taking the total death toll to a concerning 2,62,353.

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Details

Days after several bodies were found floating in the Ganga River in Buxur, Bihar, there was a new distressing piece of development coming from Unnao. Multiple bodies were found buried in the sand at multiple locations by Ganga in Unnao.

After the news broke, video footage of dead bodies wrapped in cloth buried in sand made rounds of social media causing panic among the locals. So far, no confirmation has been made by govt officials on whether these bodies are of COVID-19 victims or not.

Ravindra Kumar, District Magistrate of Unnao released a statement to the media saying-

“Some people do not burn the bodies but bury them in the sand by the river. After I got information, I sent officials to the spot. I have asked them to carry out an enquiry and we will take action.”

When inquired on the COVID-19 status of the dead bodies, the District Magistrate said that so far no information has come that can prove the fact.

The team of officials reached the location after they received information that the region smelled of decomposition. After the alarming discovery, the officials decided to bury the same bodies in the same region, albeit deeper pits were dug to house them.

It should be noted that Unnao is not the only region where a discovery as grim as this was made. At the nearby Hajipur area near Rautpur Ganga Ghat, as many as 50 dead bodies were discovered buried in the sand.

Ravindra Kumar in his statement said-

“Our team has (also) found buried bodies in an area far from the river. A search is being conducted for more bodies in other areas. I have asked a team to carry out an inquiry. Action will be taken according to it.”

Earlier this week, at least 25 bodies were discovered along the banks of Ganga River in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. M.P. Singh, District Magistrate of Ghazipur was quoted by ANI saying-

“We have got the information. Our officers are present on the spot and an investigation is underway. We are trying to find out where they came from.”

Locals follow “jal samadhi”: Varanasi IG

Meanwhile, Varanasi IG Suvendra Bhagat said that although he can’t give an exact number, “at least 25 bodies were recovered.” The IG said that some local communities follow the “Jal Samadhi” way of providing last rites to their dead, meaning, submerging the bodies in the river.

Locals and villagers near these regions believe that people are choosing to bury their dead or float their bodies or abandon them in a similar way because of shortage of funeral pyre wood and because lack of resources in being able to afford the pyre wood.

Prior to this, as many as 96 unidentified corpses – most decomposed and bloated – were found floating near the Ganges bank. Authorities are so far yet to confirm if these bodies were of COVID-19 patients and said that they had sent samples for testing.

Reports from various news platform indicate that locals in these areas are choosing to submerge their dead, bury them or abandon them in the similar fashion because of lack of wood required for making pyres.