Indian Hindu devotees take a holy dip for the Makar Sankranti festival at the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati, in Allahabad on January 14, 2015.
Sanjay Kanojia—AFP/Getty Images
January 14, 2015 8:20 AM EST

At least 100 bodies have been retrieved from an offshoot of the river Ganges in northern India, police said on Wednesday, months after government officials vowed to clean up the revered but heavily polluted waterway.

Officials in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh said receding waters exposed a large number of bodies along the banks of the river, which has traditionally been used as a burial site for cremated bodies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some families, unable to afford cremation, have been known to release bodies whole into the water.

The investigation comes several months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to clean the river system of pollutants and replenish water levels held back by newly constructed dams.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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