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West Delhi cut-off by pilgrims’ protest

A small accident was blown out of proportion when a Maruti car brushed past a Kanwaria near Punjabi Bagh area in West Delhi.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2009 00:19 IST

A small accident was blown out of proportion when a Maruti car brushed past a Kanwaria near Punjabi Bagh area in West Delhi.

Kanwarias, as the devotees of Lord Shiva are known, blocked the roads and damaged several vehicles, including two cars and two Blueline buses and a DTC high-capacity bus, in Punjabi Bagh.

A similar incident was reported from Bawana also on Sunday.

As a result of the tension, West Delhi was cut off from the rest of the city for sometime as roads leading to Paschim Vihar and other areas were blocked by hundreds of Kanwarias.

The Ridge Road was also blocked because of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit.

Kanwarias, who annually trek to Haridwar with water from the River Ganga and walk back to their homes, blocked traffic at crossings in Punjabi Bagh when a car brushed past Vikas Kumar, a Kanwaria from Mangolpuri.

He escaped unhurt but police said the water he was carrying spilled on the road.

“The incident provoked them to cause a major agitation on the road and traffic was disrupted for some time. They blocked the main Peeragarhi-Punjabi Bagh road and thrashed a car driver, Sonu Singh, and overturned his car. Another car passing by was also overturned,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity, as he was not allowed to talk to the media.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal said, “We are conducting investigations.” Eyewitnesses said Kanwarias also damaged three DTC buses, two Blueline buses and an ambulance.

Singh was taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital where he was declared out of danger.

The other accident took place in Bawana when Rakesh Kumar and Sanjay Kumar were returning home to Haryana on their motorcycle. A Blueline bus on Route No 708 hit them.

One of them received severe injuries.

“The bus driver fled but the kanwarias blocked the road for two hours. They also damaged the bus,” said the police official.