Villagers said they saw at least 150 corpses, suspected to be of COVID-19 victims, floating down the river at dawn.
The Buxar district administration pegged the number of bodies at 30. “The bodies are not of local residents. It seems they were dumped in the neighboring Uttar Pradesh 3-4 days ago,” Buxar districts magistrate Aman Samir said. “Instructions have been issued to intensify river patrolling.”
A local said he and other witnesses counted not less than 150 bodies. “The situation is dangerous. People in the area are in shock,” he said.
Prem Swaroopam, executive officer of the Buxar Municipal Council, told a news channel that a probe had already been initiated into “people dumping bodies” in the river. “We have formed three teams to stop people from disposing of bodies like that. The government will bear the cost of cremating COVID-19 victims in accordance with the official guidelines.”
Some residents attributed the dumping of bodies in the river to the higher cost of organizing the cremation of COVID-19 victims and fear of getting infected.