The Hush Post: A 12-year-old Kanwariya pilgrim was killed in an accident yesterday at Haridwar. The remaining pilgrims immediately turned violent on Wednesday night as angry kanwariyas set ablaze a truck and subsequently blocked the road after the vehicle knocked down the 12-year-old killing him on the spot in Bahadrabad block, Haridwar.
The violence began 11 pm onwards when 12-year-old Deepak of Sonipat, Haryana was returning home with fellow pilgrims carrying Ganga water from Haridwar. He was passing through Daulatpur village in Bahadrabad when the truck hit him.
Other pilgrims caught hold of the truck driver and thrashed him, set the truck on fire. Tension rose when other kanwariyas arrived at the spot.
As tempers ran high among the pilgrims, Senior Superintendent of Police Krishan Kumar VK and Kanwar Mela force nodal in-charge Mamta Vohra arrived with heavy police personnel to maintain law and order.
Authorities also sent Rapid Action Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police to control the kanwariyas.
Police immediately took the dead body in their possession before sending it for post-mortem at Roorkee Civil hospital. An estimated close to 10 lakh kanwariyas were in Haridwar at that time and as news of the boy’s death spread, the situation turned volatile, sparking clashes with the police at several places.
Local villagers tried to calm down the kanwariyas, while a squad of kanwad force personnel who were disguised as kanwariyas, also pitched in to bring about peace.
SSP Krishan Kumar VK remained at the accident site till late night to restore peace. “The situation was brought under control and kanwariyas resumed their pilgrimage,” he said.
Kanwad mela force in-charge Mamta Vohra said that a case had been registered in Bahadrabad police station against the truck driver Sachin.
Thursday onwards, entry of heavy vehicles on the NH passing through Haridwar will not be allowed as part of a route diversion plan in view of the anticipated rush of pilgrims.
Volunteers of Shiv Parvati Sheeshwal Dham Shiv Kanwd Sewa Samiti Mandi Adampur (Hissar), who are holding a free mass food service (bhandara) for kanwariyas urged kanwariyas to cooperate with mela police administration. The pilgrimage started on July 28 and will end on August 10.
Another pilgrim from Sonipat, 62-year-old Dharamveer died on Thursday after reportedly vomiting blood. He was on the pilgrimage with his niece Neetu.