New Delhi: At Rajya Sabha on Monday, the government has stated that it has no information available with them regarding the bodies found in river Ganga, during the second wave of covid.
Junior Jal Shakti Minister Bishweswar Tudu said: “Information regarding number of COVID-19 related dead bodies estimated to have been dumped in the river Ganga is not available.”
The government stated so in response to a question from Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, who also sought the information on the steps being taken to dispose the bodies in accordance with Covid protocols.
The minister said “unclaimed/unidentified, burnt/partially burnt dead bodies” had been found on the river or its banks, and that these incidents had been reported from districts in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He also said that Ministry had sought a report about the bodies, and the action being taken, including disposal, from the respective state governments.
To the Chief Secretaries of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Bengal advisories were issued, he said.
The Congress hit out at the government’s response, with senior leader KC Venugopal pointing out the current reply was almost identical to that provided to questions about deaths due to oxygen shortage.
“The government is misleading the Parliament. It is the same reply…I got the same reply when I asked how many deaths had happened because of oxygen shortage…” Mr Venugopal told NDTV.
Other opposition leaders too agreed with the TMC leader. Other opposition leaders were equally critical, with Mr O’Brien’s colleague accusing the government of “lying” and “hiding facts”.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy claims that the government is hiding facts. He said, “There were pictures published in the media (showing) dead bodies floating in the Ganges… The government should tell Parliament how many dead bodies were thrown. The government is hiding facts… it is against democracy, an insult to Parliament.”
The RJD’s Manoj Jha said: “There cannot be a more insensitive and indecent answer than this.”
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