Hundreds of shallow graves were discovered on the banks of the Ganga in two Uttar Pradesh districts, days after at least 800 bodies were found buried in the sand near the holy river in Unnao.

Iran PressAsia: The graves triggered panic in the area with many local residents saying they fear the bodies, which are buried around three feet deep into the sand, can be washed into the river if water surges during a high tide.

At least 150 corpses have been found floating in the Ganga in Ballia and Ghazipur districts of Uttar Pradesh and Buxar and Patna districts of Bihar, prompting the central government and the National Human Rights Commission to take serious note of the matter.

Local residents said they spotted at least 200 graves at Khereshwar ghat in Kanpur district’s Bilhaur, 60 in Chaubeypur, and 60 in Shivrajpur. In Kannauj district’s Nanamau hamlet, at least 300 graves were found and Mehndi Ghat saw the discovery of another 200. “There is a tradition of people being buried here but I have never seen so many graves before,” said Ajay Deep Singh Bais, a resident of Kannauj.