A nine-year-old photo showing a disturbing image of a stray dog pulling a body on the bank of river Ganga in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is viral on social media with misleading captions suggesting that the photo is from recent times.
BOOM found that the viral picture of the dog gnawing a body lying at the bank of a river is from 2012. The unidentified body was clicked at the bank of river Ganga in Varanasi, UP.
The image is being shared in the backdrop of several decomposed and bloated bodies that have been found floating in river Ganga in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in recent times.
Bodies have also been found buried in sand along the stretch of river Ganga at two places in UP, namely Kanpur and Kannauj. According to reports, several of these unclaimed bodies are suspected to be of Covid victims.
And while the images reported in the media are true this viral photo circulating on social media is old and unrelated to the pandemic.
A Hindi caption with one of the viral posts, a collage of two pictures where one shows prime minister Narendra Modi and the other shows the viral photo, translates to 'He can see the waste on sea beach but he cannot see the dead bodies in Ganga'.
(Hindi: समुंदर किनारे का कचरा दिख गया था, गंगा किनारे पड़ी लाशें नहीं दिखती?)
A reverse image search on the picture led us to the photo agency Getty Images. We found the same picture on Getty's website.
The caption with the image reads 'An unidentified dead body in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Apr. 19, 2012. Hindus believe that a person attains salvation when cremated on the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi. Varanasi is among the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, and millions of Hindu pilgrims gather annually here for ritual bathing and prayers on the banks of the Ganges. (Photo by Debajyoti Das/NurPhoto via Getty Images'.
BOOM reached out to photographer Debajyoti Das who had clicked the photo to get more details on it.
Das told BOOM that the picture was clicked sometime in 2011-12. "The picture is in no way related to Covid 19. It was clicked years before the pandemic in Varanasi. I am a freelance photographer and had taken this shot as part of my research for the Namami Gange project," Das told BOOM.
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