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102 Bodies Found Floating In The Ganga, Likely From Water Burials

The bodies – several of which were of children – are too decomposed for identification, but have been sent for DNA testing.

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102 bodies, many children, have been discovered floating in a branch of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh.


Officers do not suspect foul play, but instead surmise that this is the result of an Indian custom of water burials, the Associated Press reported. (Also known as The Ganges, the river is sacred to Hindus.)

The custom arose from the belief that unwed girls should not be cremated, and instead may be re-incarnated from a water burial.

The bodies were first discovered on January 13, floating near a small village in Uttar Pradesh. The villagers of Pariyar noticed vultures and dogs collecting around a portion of the river bank where the bodies were lodged.

They are too decomposed for the police to perform a proper identification, according to District Magistrate Saumya Agarwal. DNA testing has been ordered.

"Once we will complete all the legal formalities, these bodies will be buried to avoid spread of diseases," Sub-Divisional Magistrate Saryua Shukla told AP.

Officials are still unsure how more than a hundred bodies went unnoticed, and were only just discovered.

"It seems these were in water for very long," police officer Ram Chander Sahu told AP.