More than 100 corpses, many of them children, have been found washed up in a shallow tributary of the River Ganges.
Officials do not suspect a crime, and instead believe the dead were given water burials. It is Indian custom not to cremate unwed girls, and many poor people cannot afford cremation.
But their discovery has sparked renewed concerns about the health of the Ganges, a sacred river where millions of Hindus cremate their dead.
Grim find: Some of the more than 100 bodies found washed up in a tributary to the River Ganges, who are believed to be people whose families could not afford to cremate them or else girls given water burials
Macabre: Bodies are seen floating in Ganges river near Pariyar. Officials do not suspect a crime, but instead believe the dead were given water burials
The 102 bodies were found floating near the village of Pariyar, in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most-populous state.
They were too badly decomposed for post-mortem examinations or identification, officials said. DNA testing is being done to determine where the bodies might have come from.
‘Once we will complete all the legal formalities, these bodies will be buried to avoid spread of diseases,’ Sub-Divisional Magistrate Saryua Shukla said.