Updated: May 31, 2021 6:50:37 am
The Balrampur police on Sunday arrested a man for allegedly dumping the body of his uncle, who died of Covid-19 complications on May 28, into the Rapti river. A local who allegedly helped him was also held. The arrests were made after a video of the incident, which took place on Saturday, went viral on social media.
Police said Prem Nath Mishra, 65, succumbed to Covid-related complications on Friday, three days after he was admitted to Balrampur District Hospital.
“The body was handed over to the family members as per the Covid protocol. It has come to light that prima facie, the body was thrown in the river and we have lodged a case,” said Balrampur Chief Medical Officer VB Singh.
After the video came to light, an FIR was filed at the Kotwali (Dehat) station against Mishra’s nephew Sanjay Kumar, and a local identified as Manoj. The FIR was based on an ambulance driver’s complaint, said officials. The accused have been charged under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
An official claimed a passerby filmed the incident. “The person who shot the video then shared it on social media.”
In his complaint, the ambulance driver said, “On May 29, around 12.30 pm, a person named Sanjay Kumar, who is the deceased person’s nephew, was handed over the body as per the Covid protocol. There is a video going viral on social media saying that hospital staff threw the body in the river, which is not true as the body was handed over to family members as per protocol.”
Asked if Sanjay was questioned about his motive, Additional Superintendent of Police Arvind Mishra said, “That will be part of the probe. We can’t comment on that at this point.”
As the Covid second wave wreaked havoc in the state earlier this month, scores of decomposed bodies were found floating in the Ganga, triggering panic in villages along the river.
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