Bodies of COVID-19 victims are being dumped in some Indian rivers, according to an official of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
This was as India logged 4,090 deaths on Sunday and daily cases topped 310,892.
“The administration has information that bodies of those who have succumbed to COVID-19 or any other disease are being thrown into rivers instead of being disposed of as per proper rituals,” the official, Manoj Kumar Singh said.
“As a result, bodies have been recovered from rivers in many places.”
The letter dated May 14 was addressed to district heads.
Singh in the memo said a lack of funds to buy materials like firewood for cremation, religious beliefs in some communities, and families abandoning COVID-19 victims for fear of the disease, were among the likely reasons for the surge in body dumping.
He asked village-level officials to ensure no corpses are thrown into water and said the state government would pay poor families of the dead 5,000 rupees ($68) each to cremate or bury bodies. The state has also asked police to patrol rivers to stop the practice.
Uttar Pradesh spokesman Navneet Sehgal on Saturday denied local media reports that as many as 2,000 corpses of potential COVID-19 victims had been recovered from rivers in the state and neighbouring Bihar in recent days.
“We keep recovering 10 to 20 bodies every now and then,” Sehgal told Reuters, adding that some riverside villages did not cremate their dead due to Hindu traditions during some periods of religious significance.
state government letter.
It was the the first official acknowledgement of the alarming practice, which it said may stem from poverty and fear of the disease in remote areas.
Images of corpses drifting down the Ganges river, which is considered holy in Hinduism, have shocked the country, reeling under the world’s worst surge in COVID-19 cases.
Although media reports have linked the increase in the number of bodies found floating in the river and its tributaries in recent days to the pandemic, India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, home to 240 million people, has until now not publicly revealed the cause of the deaths.
The acknowledgment of body dumping comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called on officials to strengthen healthcare resources in rural areas and step up surveillance as the virus spreads rapidly in those areas after ravaging the cities.
Uttar Pradesh, home to more people than Brazil or Pakistan, has been badly hit by India’s dramatic second surge in COVID-19 cases.
Health experts say many cases are now going undetected in the villages of Uttar Pradesh, where most of its people live.
India has been officially reporting around 4,000 deaths each day from the disease for nearly two weeks, but health experts say the toll is likely much higher due to poor testing in rural areas and other factors.
The jump in deaths has in many places led to backlogs at crematoriums and multiplied the cost of last rites.
Another Lagos LGA chairman dies
Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji, Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos is dead
Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji is dead.
Olatunji died on Monday night.
It was gathered Olatunji had been battling with illness before his death.
He will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites today at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos.
Before his demise, he was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He emerged winner in the APC local government primary election with 1977 votes to become the party’s candidate in the forthcoming July 24th election.
Confirming his death, his Media Team on Tuesday morning in a Facebook post said: “With sorrow in our heart but in total submission to the will of Almighty Allah (S. W. T), we announce the passing, after a long battle with illness, our dear father, brother, friend, confidant, role model, Nation-builder, Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji.
“He was until late night of Monday 21st June, 2021 the Executive Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Eti-Osa Local Government.
“He will be buried in accordance to Islamic rite by 9 am prompt at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos. We invite you to join us in paying the last respect to our beloved father, brother, friend and Boss.
“We are confident that Almighty Allah will grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”
In a terse statement, chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Mrs Omolola Essien expressed sadness over his sudden demise.
She said: “We commiserate with his family, friends, colleagues and staff of Eti-Osa Local Council development Area and pray against such unfortunate deaths in our fold.
“And On behalf of the good people of Lagos Mainland Local Government Areas, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the Conference 57 Chairmen, his family and pray that The Good Lord grants the people he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss and make paradise his final abode.”
Lagos Assembly passes LASIEC Amendment Bill
The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage into Law.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa on Monday, passed the bill Having gone through its first, second and third reading at the plenary.
Obasa stated that: “The Election process of the Local Government and LASIEC which has started with the Parties contesting for the position is possibly affecting the tenure of the existing LASIEC Officials and the State needs to be on the safe side, hence, the need to look at the laws and amend where necessary to protect the effort of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission.
“The Intended Bill will empower the Governor to elongate the tenure of the officials of LASIEC and I think the six month proposed is too wide in this consideration because we need to be ahead in order to protect the State, so I proposed three month.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, stressed that the amendment being proposed was needed to ensure the Bill gets the necessary backing in order to stand the test of time.
Akande stated: “Only a singular fraction of the Bill is amended; the Bill also seeks to give the Governor the leverage to be able to use his power in case the tenure lapses. It is a good amendment in the right direction.”
Other members who made contributions, noted that the proposed amendment is a worthy one because the House and its democratic dispensation must ensure that it abides by the rule of Law.
The only addition is subsection 2 of the extant Law which provides for legislation that will necessitate the extension of the tenure of the Electoral Commission to perform it duties is however proposed to be amended since the Constitution states that no part of the people from the Commission shall administer themselves as democratically elected among the selection in the electoral process.
DSS releases Kano singer detained for Blasphemy
The Department of State Services (DSS) has released an Islamic singer, Ahmad Abdul, taking into custody after releasing a blasphemous song.
DailyTrust reports that Abdul was picked by the security agents for releasing the uncensored song titled ‘Barhama Gwaska’, perceived as blasphemous and capable of creating chaos in the state. The DSS had said it took the singer into protective custody to avert likely violent reactions against him from Kano residents.
While in detention, Abdul tendered an apology to the entire Muslim community, Kano state government, and Islamic scholars.
Confirming his release from custody today June 21, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, said he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens. Afakallah said he reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him at a hotel where he had been hiding for days to save him from the mob.
“He has been released as he regretted and apologised over his offence, promising not to repeat it” Afakallah said
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