Shillong, Apr 4 (PTI) Thousands river snakes and fish, all dead, were found floating in the Ranikor river in Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district, officials said today.

The state government, as a result, has launched an official probe into the incident, the officials said.

District Deputy Commissioner Isawanda Laloo told PTI that the superintendent of fisheries and the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board are conducting separate investigations and reports will be submitted soon.

Food safety officers were also deployed at villages close to the river to make sure that the villagers do not consume the dead fish, she said.

The Khasi Students Union, has alleged that the exploratory drilling for uranium in the hinterlands, on the upstream of the river, is the reason behind the incident, an official said.

The death of fish and snakes, in large numbers, have created a panic among residents also, the official added.

Dead fish and snakes floating in the Ranikor river have been happening since 2012 and multiple probes carried out by the government always ruled out that the fish and snakes were killed due to exploratory drilling for uranium, the official said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.