Thousands of graves on the Ganga banks point to Dalitbahujans succumbing to Covid

Bodies floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and buried on the banks of the river have kicked up a big row. Who are these dead? Dalitbahujans traditionally bury their dead or consign them to the rivers, says Sushil Manav

On 9 May 2021, I was at the Shringverpur Ghat in Prayagraj (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh, for the last rites of my maternal grandfather, Amarnath Tiwari. I could see dozens of bodies being cremated on the banks. I could also see that many more were buried in the sand. My guess is that their total number must be upwards of 5,000. The spots where the bodies were buried were ringed by pieces of bamboo driven vertically into the sand and covered by shrouds. The shrouds looked new, indicating that the burial was done recently – maybe 2-3 days ago or at the most 5-10 days ago.

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