bALLIA: With seven more bodies seen floating in the Ganga, the count of bodies found in this Uttar Pradesh district has reached 52, an official said on Wednesday.
The district administration is immediately performing the last rites of the deceased as there is a possibility that they had contracted COVID-19.
According to Ballia residents, at least 45 bodies were seen floating near the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats in the Narahi area on Tuesday evening.
Late on Tuesday night, seven more bodies were found, taking the total count of bodies to 52, an official said.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, District Magistrate Aditi Singh had said some bodies in a decomposed condition were seen floating under the Ballia-Buxar bridge.
She said Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Sadar) Rajesh Yadav and Circle Officer Jagveer Singh Chauhan are probing the matter and the last rites of the deceased were performed with due respect.
"The last rites of the deceased were performed on Tuesday itself. We are trying to find out where did the bodies come from. Seeing the flow of the river, it seems that they came from Buxar and other parts of Bihar," Yadav told PTI on Wednesday.
Although Buxar is downstream to Ballia, there is a possibility that the bodies came from Buxar, he said.
"The distance between the Bharauli and Ujiyar ghats in the Narahi police station area of Ballia, and the ghat in Buxar is around one kilometre. The direction of wind over the river is towards Ballia," the SDM said.
A police official said the administration is immediately performing the last rites of the dead as there is a possibility that they were infected with the coronavirus.