Patna (Bihar): Bihar Water Resources Development Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha on Monday said that the bodies found floating in the river Ganga were not from the State and added that it is 'not our culture'.
Jha's remarks come after reports of several bodies being found floating in Ganga and its tributaries in the last few days in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to ANI, the Minister said, "Do you think this is our culture? No it's not. It is serious matter if bodies have been found floating in river Ganga but these bodies are not from Bihar." "We are shocked by the way bodies have been found floating in the holy Ganga river. Ever since we have seen this news we have taken immediate steps and asked officials to take appropriate action," said the Minister.
The Centre should probe this matter, he said and added that it is a matter of grave concern and calls for investigation.
"We have placed nets in many places in the Ganga river. I can't say openly about which state the bodies are coming from but it's matter of probe. Most of the bodies are found in border areas of Bihar," said Jha.
Meanwhile, the Centre has asked Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to prevent the dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and its tributaries, calling media reports of bodies of COVID-19 victims being dumped in the rivers "undesirable and alarming".
The Jal Shakti Ministry said that the state governments should focus on their safe disposal and dignified cremation.
On May 13, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notices to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, after receiving complaints about dead bodies floating in the Ganga.
Namami Gange has directed states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga "and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation," the Jal Shakti Ministry said at a review meeting conducted on May 15-16.
The state pollution control boards have also been directed to monitor the water quality more frequently in consultations with the health departments.