HARIDWAR: With huge influx of kanwarias into Haridwar in the last few days of the yatra, including dak kanwars (pilgrims who arrive on vehicles instead of on foot), accidents have dramatically increased in the temple town. Over the weekend, as many as 10 kanwarias, from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were killed in separate accidents in Haridwar and Roorkee.
The first incident occurred on Saturday night in Haridwar’s Bairagi camp, when a truck carrying kanwarias ran over two other pilgrims from Haryana who were sleeping on the ground. SSI Kankhal Abhinav Sharma, told TOI the victims were identified as Yogesh (21) and Dipanshu (22), residents of Sonipat, Haryana.
The second incident took place near Prem Nagar Ashram bridge, again on Saturday night, in which two bikes collided, killing three kanwarias from UP. “Only one of the victims could be identified as Vinay (25), a resident of Kaushambi, UP. We are working on identifying the other one,” the SSI added.
Two kanwarias from UP were also killed in Bahadrabad area in a bike collision on Saturday. “The incident took place near the bridge on Ratmau river. Chandra Pal (35) and Shivam (18), residents of Budaun district, were killed. Chandra Pal died on the spot while Shivam died during treatment at a hospital,” SHO Bahadarabad Nitesh Sharma said.
In Roorkee, near Haridwar, three pilgrims, two of them from Delhi, were killed in the last 24 hours. A couple from Nangloi, Delhi returning from Haridwar after collecting Gangaajal was hit by a vehicle on Sunday morning. The wife, identified as 45-year-old Sanju, died. The husband is in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old Karan, a kanwaria from Brahmpuri, Delhi, died on the Narsan border after being involved in an accident. In another accident in Roorkee on Sunday morning, a kanwaria met with an accident and died during treatment at the Roorkee civil hospital.
Besides, around 25 kanwarias sustained injuries in separate accidents.
A brawl broke out between two groups of kanwarias on a highway in Rishikesh on Sunday. The pilgrims started thrashing each other with sticks, and police had to intervene and disperse them. In Bahadrabad, a row broke out between kanwarias and police after a group of dak kanwarias accused police personnel of damaging their laptop. The kanwarias blocked the road and created a ruckus.