Allahabad: There is something unusual happening in this remote village which has put it on world map. The village of Mohammedpur Umri, located in Dhumanganj area of Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad district has baffled experts as it boasts of having the highest number of twins born in one location.

People are giving birth to a remarkable number of identical twins. A total of 108 live in this underprivileged hamlet whose population only numbers about 6000. The number of twins in this village is supposedly the highest in the world at one location.

One of the residents of the village Mohammad Asif said this number could have passed 400 had there been a hospital in the area. The residents of the village are devoid of basic facilities including good hospitals and schools. The village has no real health centre and just one school. Despite poor infrastructure, the village has constantly witnessed birth of twins for long.

Asif further said in the dearth of employment opportunities in the village, many of them have migrated to cities.
The locals still revel in their proud record and narrate incidents of mistaken identities to the bemused visitors. This extraordinary happening has led to many strange incidents in the village. Locals say mistaken identity is a common occurrence. Another villager Mohammad Atishan told that people often got confused with his identical brother Jishan.

Till the age of 15 years, twins resemble each other a lot. However, little variation can be observed in the face after the age of 15.

The village comprises 80 percent of Muslims and 20 percent Hindu population. But the twin phenomenon has been found in both communities.

The 70-year-old Rauf Alam, who is also a member of local gram sabha says that the history of this unusual trend started some 90 years back whenere there were only three to four sets of twins.

But in the last 50 years it has gone up significantly. He also informed that 90 pairs of twins have died in last few years owing to lack of proper medical facilities.

Some feel that it has more to do with local lifestyle and environment than with genes.  Following this unusual trend, a number of genetic researchers have visited the village to find out the reason behind this occurrence.

However, a team of researchers from Hyderabad claimed that the minerals in the groundwater that the villagers drink or even the insecticides and pesticides used can be the reason behind this phenomenon.  But nothing is clear as yet.

JPN/Bureau

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