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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 11:55 GMT
India begins child murders probe
Police carry a bag containing remains of children
The remains of the children were found hidden in bags
India's government has launched an investigation into the deaths of at least 17 people, many of them children, in a suburb of the capital, Delhi.

A four-member panel will examine police efforts to find the children, some of whom had been missing for months.

The grisly murders came to light when human remains were found in a drain in the suburb of Noida last Friday.

A local businessman and his servant have been arrested on suspicion of multiple abduction, rape and murder.

Torsos missing

The discovery of the body parts in a sewer at the back of the businessman's house provoked fury among nearby slum dwellers, who said police had paid no attention to complaints about missing children.

The first disappearances were reported two years ago but the victims' parents say they were simply ignored.

The people of the area say that many more of their children are still missing. On Monday some of them attacked policemen and vandalised the businessman's house.

Police said on Tuesday that they were investigating whether the deaths could be linked to the human body parts trade.

They said inquiries were hampered by the fact that although victims' skulls and limbs had been discovered, many torsos were missing.

Police say they are checking connections between the two men they have arrested and a local doctor.

The inquiry panel set up by the government will report its findings in two weeks.

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