Kanwar yatra: Devotees set bike on fire after it hits procession in Sohna

Angry locals and Kanwariyas set the bike on fire after it hit the procession in Sohna town on Thursday afternoon.

Angry locals and Kanwarias allegedly set on fire a motorcycle owned by unidentified men, after it hit their Dak Mahakanwar at Sohna town on Thursday afternoon.

Dak Kanwar is a procession, wherein devotees collect water from the Ganges and carry it to their local shiva shrines. The objects in which the water is being carried have to keep moving until it reaches the destination, according to the beliefs.

The Kanwarias alleged that three youths allegedly hit them with an intention to create trouble and escaped soon after the incident. Although the police maintained that it was a minor accident, they said that however, they are probing the matter to know the antecedents of the youths on the bike and also if there was any other angle to the matter.

A case against unidentified persons might be filed for setting the bike on fire, police said.

The incident happened when a procession comprising 16 men from Tauru town in Mewat reached the Tikona Park, where the locals alleged that three youths on a bike hit the Kanwarias with a stick and also punched them.

“Three or four Kanwarias were injured, but they tried to protect the Dak Mahakanwar. In the melee, the miscreants escaped. Pilgrims and locals tried to chase them. The motorcycle fell at Agarsen Chowk, but the youths managed to escape,” said Anil Mendiratta, a Tauru resident, who has beeing undertaking the procession from Tauru for several years.

Kanwarias often get agitated when their way is blocked and it often leads to skirmishes.

Tauru resident Gaurav Gauba, who was pushing the Kanwar, said that unidentified youths on bike tried to force their way among the Kanwarias, and one among them punched him. On this, his associate Manoj pushed the bikers. The bikers fled when the people tried to attack them.

Soon after the incident, the locals and the pilgrims congregated and shouted slogans against the administration for failing to protect their procession from interruptions and taking action against the interruptors.

As per information, the Mahadak Kanwar had left Haridwar on July 16 and was scheduled to reach Tauru on Thursday. The Kanwar entered Sohna town from Chungi No 1 around 1 pm and it took almost an hour to pass through the main Sohna Bazaar as people paid their obeisance.

Meanwhile, the police said that as soon as they received the message on the skirmish, they rushed to the spot and managed to pacify the crowd.

“Prima facie, it appears to be a minor accident. But we are probing the matter from all angles. Security is being provided to all the Kanwars passing through the town and the situation is under control,” said Brahm Singh, assistant commissioner of police, Sohna.