NHRC issues notices to Centre and UP and Bihar Governments over the complaint on several dead bodies found floating in the Ganga River

National Human Rights Commission: On May 13, 2021, the National Human Rights Commission has taken cognizance of a complaint over several dead bodies found floating in the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of both the States and the Secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) calling for action taken report within four weeks.

Issuing the notices, the Commission has observed that it seems the public authorities have failed to take concentric efforts in educating the masses and checking the immersion of half burnt or unburnt dead bodies into the River Ganga. The practice of disposal of dead bodies in our sacred river Ganga is clearly in violation of guidelines of the National Mission for Clean Ganga project of Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.

The complainant dated May 11, 2021, based on several media reports, has expressed apprehensions that these dead bodies were of COVID victims, hence, the disposal of dead bodies in such a manner may, seriously affect all those persons, who are dependent on the holy river for their day to day activities. It is further stated that even if these dead bodies were not of COVID victims, then such practice/incidents are shameful to the society as a whole as that amounts to violation of human rights of even deceased persons. The complainant has sought intervention of the Commission for strict action against negligent public authorities, who have failed to prevent such incidents.

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