Nearly 3 lakh new Covid-19 cases were reported in India on Tuesday, April 20 with over 2,000 deaths in a span of 24 hours. Several patients have died waiting for medical care as hospitals try to cope with the rising demand for ICU beds and oxygen cylinders. States such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh saw people queueing at crematories even as official death tolls reported by state governments remain low. According to a PTI report, the bodies of eight deceased were burnt on a single pyre in Maharashtra. PM Narendra Modi-led government is drawing criticism from the opposition, journalists and citizens across the country on its failure to decelerate the growing deaths.
AAP member Ankita Shah shared an image on a reply to PM Modi’s tweet on Kumbh Mela. The image shows multiple pyres burning on a crematory ground. Shah wrote, “After this? You are responsible for this.”
The image was also shared by the official Twitter handle of the Tribal Army with a Hindi caption that says, “When a section of the subjects is foolish, the king celebrates failures with pride.”
A reverse image search led us to a blog hindiscriptwriter.blogspot.com which has uploaded a higher resolution copy of the same image. The blog says that the photograph was uploaded on January 25, 2012, by Krishna Kumar. There are other similar images uploaded on the website where the location has been identified as Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi.
Alt News contacted Krishna Kumar who informed, “Yes, I clicked this image from my phone. The images show Manikanika ghat in Banaras. I uploaded the image in January 2012 but clicked it one or two months before the upload date.”
While this image is not recent, there are several recent visuals of mass cremation of COVID victims in India.
Trigger warning: Dead bodies
Queue of bodies (both Covid and non Covid) at natural gas crematorium at Harishchandra Ghat in Varanasi. pic.twitter.com/Z9XpQF2WIL
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) April 15, 2021
It is noteworthy that Dr Kafeel Khan apologised for sharing the image when he was informed that it is old. However, he did not take down his tweet.