LUCKNOW: Amid dead bodies being found floating in the Ganga in eastern UP districts, shallow graves have also been reported on the banks of the river in central parts of the state even as the Yogi Adityanath government maintains that Covid-19 cases and positivity rate in the state are declining.
A few days after reports emerged about dozens of bodies found floating on the banks of the Ganga in eastern districts of Ghazipur, Ballia and Chandauli, at least seven bodies were found on Thursday floating in the river near Sujabad village in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
Ved Prakash Rai, SHO of the Ramnagar police station of Varanasi district, said: “There were seven bodies, many of which were partially decomposed, which were found floating near Sujabad village. All these bodies were retrieved and buried safely as per safety protocol.”
Meanwhile, sources said in Ghazipur, Ballia and Chandauli districts of east UP, dozens of bodies have been found floating in the Ganga along the UP-Bihar border in the last few days.
Ballia district magistrate Aditi Singh said: “Village pradhans of nearby villages failed to identify the bodies since these were badly decomposed. The last rites of the bodies were performed by following safety protocols.
The local SDM is looking into the matter.” Around 450 km away in central UP’s Unnao district, dozens of shallow graves have been found. Videos of stray dogs invading and digging these graves have gone viral.
Unnao collector Ravindra Kumar said the graves found at Buxar Ghat (Bighapur) are located in Unnao, but are very close to Rae Bareli and Fatehpur district also.
"After the matter came to the light, a sub-divisional magistrate was sent to the spot for the probe. He will submit his report," Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said.
He said the Baksar ghat is on the border of many districts including Raebareli, Fatehpur and Unnao and people go there for the cremation of bodies.
"We will take appropriate action after seeing the situation. Directives have been issued that such situation does not arise," the DM said when asked about the alleged burial of bodies on the ghat.
SDM Dayashankar Pathak, who visited the Baksar ghat of the river with the circle officer, said they did not find any dead body out in the open.
On the exact number of bodies buried on the riverbank, the SDM said he was not aware of the number.
People living near the riverbank on Thursday said no dead body was allowed to be buried and all the bodies being brought to the Ghat are being cremated.
Meanwhile, the state on Thursday recorded 17,775 fresh COVID-19 cases that pushed the infection count to 15,80,980, while 281 new fatalities took the death toll to 16,646 in the state, officials said.
The number of active cases in the state has come down by over 1.06 lakh in the past 12 days, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said.
The COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 86 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
On April 30, there were about 3.10 lakh active cases, and the number currently stands at 2,04,658, the official said.
With this, the total number of patients in the state who have recovered from the infection has risen to 13,59,676, Prasad said.
In the past 24 hours, while the state reported 17,775 fresh cases, 19,425 people recovered from the disease, he said.
Among the fresh deaths, the maximum of 35 were reported from Lucknow, 16 each from Kanpur and Ghaziabad, 12 from Bahraich, 15 from Meerut, 10 each from Mahoba, Jhansi and Ghazipur, nine from Gorakhpur besides other cities, a health bulletin issued here said.
As far as fresh cases are concerned, the maximum of 1,070 cases were reported from Meerut, 856 from Lucknow, 775 from Gorakhpur and 772 from Varanasi, it said.
So far, over 4.39 crore samples have been tested in the state and it includes more than 2.53 lakh samples tested on Wednesday, Prasad said.
Of the fresh cases, 1,45,108 are in home isolation, he added.
(With PTI Inputs)