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Old image of dead bodies floating in the Ganga in UP is shared as that from Buxar in Bihar

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Amidst multiple reports of dead bodies of COVID-19 fatalities being dumped in the river Ganga in Bihar, a post accompanying an image of dozens of dead bodies floating along the shore is being widely shared across social media platforms with a claim that the image shows the recent incident of floating dead bodies in river Ganga in Buxar, Bihar. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Image of floating dead bodies in river Ganga in Buxar, Bihar.

Fact: While it is reported that dead bodies of COVID-19 fatalities are being dumped in the Ganga in Bihar, this image actually shows dead bodies floating along the shores of Ganga near Pariyar in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh back in 2015. Multiple news agencies have reported the incident back then. This image has nothing to do with Buxar or COVID-19. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

Reverse image search of the photo in the post led us to the same image on Getty Images, a stock images repository. As per the description accompanying this image on this website, the image shows dead bodies floating along the shore of the Ganga near Pariyar in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. As per the details provided on this website, this image was clicked on 14 January 2015.

Taking a cue from the stock image, Google search with relevant keywords yielded multiple news articles which reported the incident back in 2015. As per one such news article, this image shows dead bodies floating along the Ganges (Ganga) in Unnao, UP. As per this article, ‘the officials believed that these are probably those dead bodies which were given water burial at a nearby cremation ground area called Pariyar Ghat’.

Indian Express and Zee news have also reported the incident back in 2015. Even these reports establish that the image is from Unnao, UP.

It has been reported that suspected COVID-19 dead bodies were found floating in Ganga and in particular along the shores of Ganga in Buxar, Bihar. These reports can be read here and here. However, the image in the post has nothing to do with COVID-19 or Bihar.

To sum it up, 2015 image of dead bodies floating in Ganga in UP is being shared as image of floating dead bodies in river Ganga in Buxar, Bihar..

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