Amid a rapid surge in COVID-19 infections in Uttar Pradesh, dozens of bodies floating on the Yamuna river were spotted by the locals in Hamirpur district on Sunday.
The incident has created panic among the locals as they suspect the bodies to be of villagers who succumbed to COVID-19
Many locals believe that bodies are being dumped into the river as crematoriums are overflowing.
"The Yamuna river flows as a border between Hamirpur and Kanpur. Locals consider the river sacred and there is an old ritual of the bodies of deceased villagers being floated in the river," Anoop Kumar Singh, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Hamirpur told The India Today
"One or two dead bodies can be occasionally seen floating in Yamuna. However, in the times of Covid, there has been a flood of bodies in the river, which is indicative of how people are dying in large numbers," added ASP Anoop Kumar Singh.
He further said that due to fear of COVID-19, villagers are dumping the bodies on the river instead of cremating them.
"People are cremating bodies on the fields. No government or local official has any record of how many people have been cremated or their bodies disposed of after dying due to Covid-19 in these areas," said Siyaram, an eyewitness Similar incidents are being reported from the neighbouring state of Bihar as well. Scroll reported about an incident where dozens of decomposed bodies were seen floating in Bihar's Buxar district on Monday, May 10.