The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday questioned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s silence on the recovery of as many as 110 bodies in the Ganga and Betwa rivers in the last few days. Saying that the chief minister should have spoken on the issue and initiated a high-level probe into the matter, BJP state spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said it was sad that instead of Akhilesh Yadav, the ministers of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government were making wild comments over the issue.
Alluding to state Urban Development Minister Mohammed Azam Khan’s allegation that BJP’s parliament member Sakshi Maharaj, from Unnao district, brought the bodies in a truck and dumped them in the Ganga, Pathak said the chief minister should either question Azam Khan over his statement or ask security agencies to check its veracity.
“The minister has been known for his wild statements but there has to be a limit to being irresponsible and to the chief minister turning a blind eye to it,” BJP spokesman said. Azam Khan, a close aide of Samajwadi Party’s chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is known for his controversial statements. Late last year, he claimed that the grand celebrations he rolled out for Mulayam Yadav’s birthday were funded by the country’s most wanted and 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and Taliban.
Earlier this week, a total of 104 bodies were found floating in the Ganga in highly decomposed state in Unnao district, near the Periyar Ghat where cremations are normally performed. A day later six more bodies were found floating in the Betwa river in Jhansi. The district administrations at both places claimed that these were bodies dumped into the river by poor families who could not afford a decent cremation as per Hindu rites.
Various religious groups and environmental organisations are up in arms against the state government as they view the bodies’ recovery in the rivers as an environmental catastrophe. “How can a state government claim that every day nine to 10 bodies are dumped in the Ganga in Unnao and still claim that the Ganga was being cleaned up,” asked Chandra Shekhar, an activist involved in the river’s cleaning up project. (IANS)