A group of fishermen was the first to strike it rich at Silsakho, a wetland and popular fishing site close to the office of a central intelligence agency in Sasal area of Guwahati.
They caught money along with a handful of fish around 11am.
News of the floating money triggered a frenzied treasure hunt. At least 500 people dived in to fish cash. While some said they made Rs. 10,000-15,000, a few claimed to have laid their hands of entire bundles totaling Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1 lakh.
"God must have taken pity on us and showered his blessings," said daily wager Rajen Deka, without disclosing his catch.
Locals claimed the notes, estimated to be worth several lakhs, were genuine, but many assumed they were fakes. Police did not rule out the possibility of the cash being connected to a tribal hill council scam that the National Investigation Agency is probing.
City superintendent of police Apurba Jiban Barua said, "We hope investigations will reveal the source of the money. Of course, the Reserve Bank of India would be verifying the genuineness of the notes first.
" Police have seized cash from three treasure hunters for investigation.