Indian Authorities 'Place Net Across Ganges River' to Catch Dead Bodies Washing Ashore

More scenes out of India horrified the world on Monday after it was reported that dozens of dead bodies had drifted onto the banks of the River Ganges in Chausa village in the Buxar district of the eastern state of Bihar.

Now, authorities have apparently placed a "net" in the river to catch the corpses of the suspected COVID victims.

On Wednesday, Sanjay Kumar Jha, Bihar state minister of Water Resources (WRD) and Information and Public Relations (IPRD) tweeted an update on the handling of the bodies by the state and introduced the plan to spread a net in order to handle the influx of remains.

"Last rites of 71 bodies performed as per protocols. A net has been placed in the Ganges in Ranighat, bordering UP & Bihar," wrote Jha.

He added that they "advised UP administration to be vigilant; our district admin is keeping vigil too. Advise all to give all respect to those dead, and Maa Ganges."

Shortly after the initial discovery, Chausa block development officer Ashok Kumar caused a stir by accusing the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) of disposing of the dead bodies and causing the crisis.

The state officials of Uttar Pradesh had denied the claim, according to The Hindu.

"The Bihar Government is seized of the matter of unfortunate case of floating mortal remains in river Ganga, near Chausa village in Buxar district," Jha tweeted. "The bodies have floated into Bihar from UP. Upon postmortem, our doctors have confirmed that these are 4-5 days' old bodies."

3/3 Last rites of 71 bodies performed as per protocols. A net has been placed in Ganges in Ranighat, bordering UP & Bihar. We've advised UP administration to be vigilant; our district admin is keeping vigil too. Advise all to give all respect to those dead, and Maa Ganges.

— Sanjay Kumar Jha (@SanjayJhaBihar) May 11, 2021

Jha's tweets also say that the local government "is pained at both the tragedy as well as harm to the river Ganges" and that they have always been "particular about the purity and uninterrupted flow of the river and has asked the administration to intensify patrolling to ensure this is not repeated."

Government Doctor Jitendra Nath of Buxar warned locals of the chances of infecting themselves with the coronavirus if they use the water of the holy Ganga.

Nath told local news, as reported by The Hindu, "People living in the riverine areas should keep a strict caution and vigilance, as the bodies that were found floating in the river at Chausa were decomposed. Though, until reports come, it cannot be said that they were infected with COVID-19, people should not use the river water for bathing or other religious purposes as chances of infection increases with it."

Yesterday, in another incident at another Ganga Ghat in the city of Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, around 300 miles from Buxar, partially burned bodies of suspected Covid victims were found, according to Times now News.

Dead bodies found buried in sand near river Ganga in UP's Unnao

"Our team has found buried bodies in an area far from river. Search being conducted for more bodies in other areas. I've asked team to carry out inquiry. Action will be taken accordingly," said DM (12.05)

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 13, 2021

India has reported a shortage of wood for funeral pyres and a chronic lack of burial space and cremation sites as COVID numbers continue to surge. From converting parking lots into crematoriums to images of bodies wrapped in white cloth, lined up outside burning ghats to mass cremations, the stories coming out of India have left the world shocked and horrified.

According to the data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, deaths due to COVID rose by 4,205 yesterday with the total number of dead reaching 258,000 and active infections reaching 23 million.

Net across Ganga to catch dead bodies
Police and administrative officials (background) inspect a cremation ground on the banks of Ganges River, where suspected bodies (foreground) of Covid-19 coronavirus victims appeared partially buried, at Rautapur Ganga Ghat in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India on May 13, 2021. SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP/GETTY