Accident kills three ‘kanwarias’, pilgrims turn violent


Gurgaon : Three ‘kanwarias’ were killed and two were severely injured in Gurgaon when a speeding truck hit them early Tuesday, leading to unrest as hundreds of pilgrims blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway and torched several vehicles.

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The incident occurred at around 8 a.m. near Manesar in Gurgaon when five kanwarias, followers of Lord Shiva, were mowed down by a truck while walking on the highway. The victims, identified as Krishna Kumar, Lilu and Rajkumar, died on the spot, while the other two were admitted to hospital.

The truck driver fled the scene and fellow kanwarias began protesting. They blocked National Highway-8, burnt the ‘killer’ truck and smashed windowpanes of public transport vehicles. The violence halted traffic on the highway with vehicles lined up for nearly 10 km.

The agitated kanwarias, who were joined by the locals, also set ablaze cars of the deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), Gurgaon and station house officer (Manesar). They also set on fire two Haryana Roadways buses.

The unruly kanwariyas, numbering in hundreds, demanded a compensation of Rs.1 million for the victims’ families and the immediate arrest of the truck driver.

“We will continue our protest till the government announces compensation for the victims’ families. We also want an assurance from the state government that no such accidents will take place in future,” a kanwariya said.

Police have beefed up security around the violence-hit area and talks are underway to restart traffic on the highway.