Coronavirus Pandemic

India Covid crisis: Prayagraj civic officials cremate bodies buried alongside river bank

Web report/Prayagraj
Filed on June 5, 2021
Workers remove cloths from bodies buried in the sand on the banks of the Ganga river. Photo: AFP

Several bodies bodies buried close to the river bank were facing threat of getting exposed due to soil erosion

Senior government officials working at the ground level especially during the ongoing Covid crisis, have to adapt and engage in all kinds of work – including cremating bodies.

Niraj Kumar Singh, a zonal officer of the Prayagraj Municipal Corporation in Uttar Pradesh, was monitoring the water level of the Ganga on Friday and noticed an erosion on the bank alongside the river in some places. He and his team realised that bodies buried nearby could be exposed.

Singh took approval from his seniors and then unearthed six buried bodies along with his team. “I cremated all of them one by one,” he told a reporter.

“It was quite an emotional day for me as a I cremated the six bodies and kept praying that the departed souls may get salvation. I did not know who the six of them were or which village they belonged to. And here I was performing their last rites with the same grief and compassion as I would have felt for my own relatives.”

He also got the civic body’s funds to set up the pyre and since no family members of the deceased were present, he lit them up one by one.

Another senior official of the civic body said that the bodies had to be dug out and cremated as otherwise erosion of the river bank would have resulted in the buried bodies getting washed into the river.

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