May, Nandanpur: Residents claim to have found four-five dead bodies floating in the Runj river in Panna district, Madhya Pradesh. The senior administration official, however, says that only two bodies were found — one of a 95-year-old and another of a cancer patient.
Runj river is the main source of water for the entire Nandanpur village.
“For the last six days, villagers and cattle have relied on the hand pump to meet water needs as river water had been contaminated due to corpses, we informed the gram panchayat but nothing happened,” one of the villagers told the media.
“We fear an epidemic might break in our village due to these bodies,” another resident said.
The Panna district collector said that there were just two bodies, and not four to five bodies. “The village sarpanch has told us that both bodies were immersed and not cremated in the river as part of a long-standing tradition. Both bodies were retrieved on Tuesday and were buried safely.” added the collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
Similar incidents had taken place in the Gazipur district earlier this week with unidentified bodies found floating in the river Ganga, followed by Buxar in Bihar and now MP.
Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha stated, “Nitish Kumar is pained at both the tragedy as well as harm to the river Ganges. A net has been placed in the Ganges in Ranighat, bordering UP and Bihar.” He claimed that the dead bodies came afloat from UP to the Bihar border.
Aman Samir, District Magistrate of Buxar, stated that a narrative was being formed due to the lack of logs for cremation or financial issues and so the families were immersing their dead in the Ganga. He claimed it to be untrue.
On Monday when reports about bodies floating in Ganga in Buxar came, their total number was unknown.
Some claimed it to be 10-15 whereas others claimed it to be 40-45. A few reports even alleged the number to be as high as 150 bodies. But the officials confirmed a total of 71 corpses washed up on the banks of the Ganga river.
This has caused panic among the residents near these localities as they suspect the dead bodies are of Covid positive patients and fear the spread of the infection through contaminated water.