In yet another incident of corpses found floating in rivers, two bodies were recovered from Runjh river in Madhya Pradesh.
The incident occurred near Nandanpur village in Ajaygarh tehsil, officials said, adding that the corpses didn’t belong to Covid-19 victims.
While reports also emerged that four more corpses were found floating in the said river, officials denied the news as false.
"A team of officials and police visited Kali Ghat on the Runjh river near Nandanpur after getting reports that bodies were found floating there on May 11," district collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra told PTI adding that the corpses have been fished out.
Following inquiry, the deceased were identified as Shivram Ahirwar (90) and Kallu Ahirwar (75), both from Beharsarvaria village.
The two bodies had been consigned to the river by the deceased men's kin on May 5 and May 8, respectively. As per the local tradition, when an ailing person dies, the body is released in the river, the collector said.
According to villagers and family members both were not suffering from Covid-19. Shivram was suffering from a skin disease while Kallu died of cancer, they said.
The police buried the bodies near the river after completing legal formalities and with the consent of relatives, the collector said.
The Runjh river flows from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh so there was no question of bodies flowing down from the northern state, he said.
State Congress leader Kamal Nath claimed in a tweet earlier that six bodies were found in the river and demanded probe.
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala also tweeted about the incident, asking "what kind of Shavraj is this?".
This incident comes close on the heels of as many as 70 corpses being fished out from the Ganga river during the last two days.
While the total number of bodies that have been dumped in the river is still unclear, authorities in Bihar had said on Tuesday that they recovered 71 corpses.
Many bodies were also found floating in the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur.
These developments come in the backdrop of crematoriums across the country running out of space and manpower to perform the last rites of Covid-19 victims due to a massive surge in the number of infections.
(With PTI inputs)