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Bodies in Unnao piled up at pillar base in Ganga; State Govt Sends Report to Centre Bodies in Unnao piled up at pillar base in Ganga; State Govt Sends Report to Centre

Jan-16-2015 | 0 Comments

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LUCKNOW/UNNAO: Two pillars coming up on the Ganga near Bithoor in Kanpur for a bridge may have led to dead bodies piling up at the base of the pillars.

The report, sent by Unnao district magistrate to the state government, has said that silting at the base of the pillars had the bodies, which generally flow down the river, getting accumulated in the silt. And, with the flow decreasing, these are now visible on the surface.

The state government has subsequently forwarded the report to the Centre.

Unnao DM Saumya Agarwal told TOI that she has had held a meeting with 'pradhans' (village head) of several villages and 'pandas' of Pariyar Ghat - where the bodies were found -- besides police officials and other prominent locals, who were sensitised about Supreme Court guidelines on ban on disposal of bodies into the river.

On Thursday, policemen on duty at the ghat, stopped people carrying two bodies that were brought to be dumped in the river. They convinced the family members to cremate them instead.

Locals said most of these bodies were wrapped in red cloth and many were found to be partially burnt.

"People from as far as Lucknow and Rae Bareli travel to Pariyar Ghat in Unnao to dispose of bodies in the Ganga in absence of proper monitoring. There is a need of massive awareness campaigns to stop such malpractice adopted by the poor and uneducated lot, besides tight vigil on 'pandas', who harass poor people in the name of salvation," said Rakesh Jaiswal of Eco-Friends, an NGO working to clean the Ganga.

Harishchandra, a resident of Maana Bangla village, said, "At this ghat, a place for performing last rites was not easily available without coughing up huge sum to `pandas' and hence there is no choice left and the poor family members have to either float the corpse in the river water or bury it in the sand-bed at the banks of the river."

Locals said that even bodies of pregnant women are let adrift in the river, lest "her spirit haunts the village."

"Last month, the body of a poor Dalit was dumped in the river as his family members did not have the money to perform his last rites," said Mankau, a native of Badaula.

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