Half-burnt bodies found floating in river Ganges in India’s most populous state

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<p>File image: Three half burnt bodies were found on the banks of the river in Varanasi</p> (Getty Images)

File image: Three half burnt bodies were found on the banks of the river in Varanasi

(Getty Images)

More bodies were found dumped in the Ganges river in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, this time half burnt, as the deadly second wave continues to wreak havoc in India with the country recording its highest death toll this week.

In the latest finding, around six-seven corpses were spotted in the Ramnagar area in Varanasi on Thursday, and three of them were half-burnt. According to Indian media reports, the bodies were later pulled out of the river and buried.

Officials said it was believed there wasn’t enough wood for funeral pyres and to dispose of the bodies, families threw them into the river, Indian news channel NDTV reported.

Earlier, 100 bodies were found floating in the Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, just a day after over 40 bodies were found along the line of the same river, in the Chausa of district of neighbouring Bihar state. Two bodies were also found dumped in the banks of Runj river in Panna district of the state of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday. The river serves as a source of water for villagers and their cattle.

A petition has also been filed in India’s top court to form a team for investigating the floating bodies in the region. The officials in Bihar earlier alleged that the bodies were coming from UP.

The city of Varanasi holds a holy spot and cremations take place on its river banks. The city is also the constituency of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, whose party governs UP.

These incidents occur as India has been recording over 4,000 deaths from last four days and the official death toll has gone highest this week 4,205 on Tuesday. Today, India crossed the 24 million mark in total number of infection, behind just the US.

After the country emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic in the last few days, the country’s healthcare system has been in shambles. Experts believe the real number of infections and deaths is much higher than the official toll.The cases however have been on the rise now in smaller towns and villages in the last few days.

The emergence of bodies in various stages of decay on river banks has also raised concerns of infection spreading through water.

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