The administration in Prayagraj has allegedly removed the customary saffron and yellow shrouds from bodies buried in the sand on the ghats of the Ganga river, reports The Hindu. Video of a worker removing the shrouds surfaced on the internet, drawing a backlash.
Tweeting a video of the shrouds being removed, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary, questioned the “cleaning” on the ghats.
Indian administrations are under fire for deliberately underreporting COVID-19 death to save the government. International media outlets have reported that projections from early data suggest several thousand people die every day due to COVID in India since the second wave hit India. India’s death toll due to Covid-19 has crossed three lakh now.
“Did not get treatment when alive. Many did not even get last rites with honour. Did not find a place in the government data. Now, even the Ramnami is being snatched from their graves,” she expressed.
The move is deemed as another attempt by the Uttar Pradesh government to cover up the horrific graphic of the real toll due to the second wave. Drone visuals from the sandy ghats are broadcasted and published by many international media organisations.
Several bodies were found floating in the Ganga in different parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Government had to install fishing net to recover bodies which were dumped in river due to monetary constraints to cremate the bodies.
Shallow graves on sandy ghats if Ganga river was discovered in Unnao, Kannauj, Prayagraj and Rae Bareli among other districts.
The government has announced monetary support for people unable to afford the cost of cremations in order to dissuade them from disposing of bodies in the river.
According to The Hindu, official have claimed that only shrouds that were scattered on the ghat were being removed while those on mounds of sand where the bodies were buried were not touched.