Two people have been arrested by the police after a video surfaced of a body being thrown into Rapti river in Uttar Pradesh. In the video, two young men can be seen throwing a body into the river from a bridge at Sisai ghat while it is raining. One of them is wearing a personal protective equipment (PPE) suit.
The incident allegedly occurred on 29 May in the evening in the Kotwali area of Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh. The video has been shared multiple times on social media.
The two arrested have been identified as Sanjay Kumar and Manoj Kumar. A police case has been filed against them.
The police have also identified the victim as Premnath, a resident of Shohratgadh Siddharathanagar in Uttar Pradesh.
The chief medical officer (CMO) said that Balrampur, Premnath had been admitted to a hospital on 25 May after he tested positive for Covid-19. He died on 28 May while undergoing treatment for the infection.
Balrampur CMO said as per the Covid-19 protocol, Premnath’s body was handed over to his relatives for the final cremation. But, he said, Premnath’s relatives threw his body into the river.
The incident comes barely two weeks after several bodies were seen floating in rivers in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh amid a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases.
Earlier in the month, several bodies were seen floating in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers in the state, triggering apprehensions that these were of COVID-19 patients. The authorities too had urged people not to dispose of bodies into rivers.
Earlier, at least 71 bodies have been fished out of Ganga river so far in Bihar’s Buxar district, where a large number of bloated and partially decomposed bodies were found floating in the river on 11 May, triggering panic among locals and widespread outrage.
The bodies were netted from the river near Mahadeva ghat of Chausa, which borders Uttar Pradesh.