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71 bodies of suspected COVID victims fished out from Ganga, locals give it a ritual spin

According to locals, the bodies suspected to be of Covid patients were kept in lines at the ghats as a board of doctors conducted post-mortem non-stop from Monday night till 4 am Tuesday. 

Published: 12th May 2021 10:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2021 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

A fleet of boats stand parked along a deserted bank of River Ganga during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus in Varanasi

Representational Image. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA/LUCKNOW: The number of dead bodies retrieved from the banks of Ganga in Bihar’s Buxar district rose to 71 on Tuesday. The district administration, with the help of local divers and boatmen, fished out all the bodies that were found floating and stuck along the banks of the river on Monday morning.

According to locals, the bodies suspected to be of Covid patients were kept in lines at the ghats as a board of doctors conducted post-mortem non-stop from Monday night till 4 am Tuesday. 

Buxar District Magistrate Aman Samir said last rites of all the bodies fished out so far were performed as per protocol.

When asked about identification of the bodies, he said it was difficult as the bodies were in a decomposed state. However, samples from each of the 71 unidentified bodies were collected and preserved for DNA tests, he added. 

Meanwhile, some locals chose to give a spin to the turn of events saying there is a tradition among villagers living on the banks of Ganga of releasing the bodies of those who died of unnatural causes, into the river after performing a small ritual at the ghats.

This, they claim, is an age-old tradition done with the belief that it will ensure salvation to the departed souls. 

Speaking to TNIE, Ghazipur district magistrate M P Singh said, “We’ve also launched an awareness drive in all villages to inform the administration if the villagers are facing any difficulties in cremating the bodies. If they need financial assistance or vehicles to carry bodies for cremation, it will be given.” 



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