The CBI effort to exhume the bodies of the two sisters from Badaun who were gang-raped and murdered was aborted on Saturday due to a sudden rise in the water level of the Ganga.
Villagers and policemen gather at the spot where two teenage cousins were found hanging from a mango tree in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.
The graves are inundated and it is feared that the bodies might be washed away in the swelling tide.
CBI officials said efforts were on to protect the bodies and sand bags had been placed around the graves. A team of irrigation department and police personnel has been deployed to keep a watch on the graves.
"We are talking to our officers in Badaun to see if the exercise can be resumed on Sunday," said CBI public relations officer Kanchan Prasad.
The CBI team investigating the gang rape and murder of two sisters in Katra Sadatganj village of Badaun district in May arrived in the morning along with a three-member medical board team to carry out a fresh autopsy after exhuming the dead bodies.
The team set up a temporary camp on the bank of the Ganga to start exhuming the bodies. But suddenly the water level rose and inundated the graves. A pump set was pressed into service to drain the water out of the graves.
But the pump developed a snag and officials were told to bring another pump set. By the time the second pump set arrived, the graves were submerged under six feet of water. There was no option but to call off the exercise, a district administration officer said.
Detecting anomalies in the postmortem carried out by local doctors, the CBI had decided to carry out another autopsy.
Superintendent of police (city) Maan Singh Chauhan said that the exhumation was earlier scheduled to be held on July 20 but considering the fact that the bodies might flow out of grave, the process began a day earlier.