Police in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur have booked the relatives of a man who died due to COVID-19, after a video going viral on social media showed his body being thrown into a river.
Taking cognisance of the video being circulated online, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr VB Singh issued a statement on May 30, stating that action has been initiated against the accused family members.
The deceased's body was reportedly thrown into the Rapti river, flowing near Dehat Kotwali police station area in Balrampur district. The accused, as seen in the video, threw the body into the river flowing beneath a bridge. One of the accused was wearing a PPE kit.
The person who died has been identified as Premnath Mishra, aged 45. A resident of neighbouring Siddharhnagar district, he was admitted to a hospital in Balrampur on May 25, the CMO said. He succumbed to the infection on May 28, Dr Singh added."The body was handed over to his relatives following all Covid protocols for cremation. Prima facie, according to the video, it seems that the body was thrown into the river by his relatives," he said, in a video tweeted by the Balrampur police.
#Balrampur- पीपीई किट पहने दो युवकों द्वारा राप्ती नदी पुल से नदी में शव फेंकते वायरल वीडियो के सम्बंध में सीएमओ डॉ वीबी सिंह की बाईट @Uppolice @AdgGkr @dgpup @AwasthiAwanishK @CMOfficeUP @InfoDeptUP yogiadityanath?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@myogiadityanath @bstvlive @IndiaToday @News18UP @htTweets @hemantkutiyal pic.twitter.com/ZXGyBnAstm
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— BALRAMPUR POLICE (@balrampurpolice) May 30, 2021
A case has been registered against the family members, Dr Singh added. Police sources, while speaking to reporters, said strict action would be taken.
The UP government had drawn flak earlier this month after bodies of COVID-19 victims were found floating in rivers. The state subsequently directed the officials to conduct a strict surveillance and arrange for the cremations of those deceased patients whose family members cannot afford.The officials were further instructed to take strict action against those found throwing the COVID-19 victim's corpse into water bodies.