The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday ordered a probe after 104 bodies were found in the revered Ganga river flowing through the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
While 30 bodies were recovered from the river's channel till late Tuesday, by Wednesday morning the number of bodies recovered swelled up to 104.
The bodies were dug into by dogs, crows and vultures as they had reached the bank of the river due to its low water level. This poses massive environmental challenges for the areas under Unnao district.
The volunteers of the Ganga Bachao Andolan (Save Ganga Movement) led by Ramji Tripathi began a sit-in to protest dumping of the dead in the Ganga, which results in water pollution.
This incident has evoked uproar among residents as the bodies were recovered a day before the Makar Sankranti festival when many take a holy dip in the Ganges.
Director General of Police A K Gupta has asked for a detailed report after bodies were recovered from the river, near the Periyar Ghat where dead bodies are brought for cremation, IANS reported.
According to Kanpur's IGP Ashutosh Pandey, the bodies belonged to poverty-stricken families who perhaps could not bear the expense of cremation as per the Hindu norms and discarded them into the river.
BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpayi rang up senior officials at night and protested against the dumping of bodies. Officials have confirmed that all the bodies that have been recovered will be cremated on Wednesday as per proper Hindu tradition by the district administration.