New Delhi: A video has emerged showing two men throwing the dead body of a purported COVID-19 patient into a river in Uttar Pradesh. In the video, two men, one of them in a PPE suit, are seeing lifting the body and preparing to throw it into the river Rapti, NDTV reported.
The incident was shot by a couple of people who were driving by the spot in Kotwali area of Balrampur district on May 28, the report added.
According to India Today, the police have identified the deceased person as Premnath, a resident of Shohratgadh Siddharathanagar.
The chief medical officer of Balrampur has confirmed that the body was indeed of a COVID-19 patient, and the relatives were trying to dump it in the river.
A case has been filed against the relatives and the body has been handed back to them.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that the patient was admitted to hospital on May 25, and he died three days later on May 28. As per COVID-19 protocol, the body was handed over to his relatives. Preliminary investigations reveal that the relatives threw the body into the river. We have filed a case and strict action will be taken,” said Balrampur chief medical officer V.B. Singh told NDTV.
#Balrampur– पीपीई किट पहने दो युवकों द्वारा राप्ती नदी पुल से नदी में शव फेंकते वायरल वीडियो के सम्बंध में सीएमओ डॉ वीबी सिंह की बाईट @Uppolice @AdgGkr @dgpup @AwasthiAwanishK @CMOfficeUP @InfoDeptUP @myogiadityanath @bstvlive @IndiaToday @News18UP @htTweets @hemantkutiyal pic.twitter.com/ZXGyBnAstm
— BALRAMPUR POLICE (@balrampurpolice) May 30, 2021
A few weeks ago, mass shallow graves were exposed at the banks of the river in various districts of Uttar Pradesh. Several English and Hindi dailies reported that over 2,000 dead bodies in the state were found to be hastily buried or abandoned along the banks of Ganga. The reasons could have been financial constraints or a long waiting list at the cremation grounds.
Following this, chief minister Yogi Adityanath reportedly instructed the police to start patrolling the Ganga and villages located on it banks. The Centre also asked states to prevent dumping of dead bodies into the river and increase patrol along riverbanks to stop the practice.
However, the Indian Express reported that Uttar Pradesh already knew that the practice of dumping dead bodies in the river was prevalent in central and eastern regions of the state, even before the reports had emerged.