UP: In a heartbreaking incident in Bhawanpur's Rali Chauhan village of Meerut district in Western Uttar Pradesh, a religious procession turned fatal as five people lost their lives and five others were injured. The procession led by a group of Kanwariyas, devoted followers of Lord Shiva, was returning from Haridwar with holy water from the Ganges River on Saturday.
A video of the shocking incident has surfaced on the internet showing pilgrims in panic trying to perform CPR on the ones who were knocked down.
Content Warning: Visuals can be disturbing for some viewers.
Vehicle Came Into Contact With High-Voltage Wire
As the vehicle carrying the Kanwariyas, filled with celebratory music, entered the village, it encountered a dangerously low-hanging high-tension line. The vehicle brushed against the line, causing a high-voltage electric current to surge through the crowd of gathered devotees, leaving them helpless and stunned.
Five Dead, Another Five Injured
Before anyone could react, chaos ensued as the current knocked down the devotees one after the other. Tragically, one of the pilgrims, Manish, was declared dead at the scene, and four others succumbed to their injuries later. As of now, five more victims are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the region, with the condition of two reported to be critical.
Demand for Accountability and Justice
The incident ignited anger and grief among the villagers, who blocked a road in protest, demanding immediate action against the electricity department officials responsible for the negligence that led to this devastating accident.
Kanwar Yatra: India's Largest Religious Gathering
The Kanwar Yatra is a significant religious gathering in India, drawing an estimated 10 to 12 million participants annually from states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Jharkhand. The Kanwariyas, dressed in saffron attire, often walk barefoot alongside vehicles on highways, symbolising their deep devotion.
Similar Incident Reported Earlier
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Just last month, a similar tragedy occurred in Tripura's Unakoti district, where seven people, including two children, lost their lives, and 16 others were injured after a religious 'rath' or chariot came into contact with an overhead high-voltage electric wire.