Nearly 1.45 crore pilgrims took a dip in the Ganga on Wednesday, the day of the last royal bath during the Mahakumbh in Haridwar, as seven pilgrims, including three women, were killed in this town.
Director General of Police Subhash Joshi said nearly 1.45 crore pilgrims took a bath on the occasion of Mesh Sankranti.
Meanwhile, five pilgrims, including three women and a girl, were killed after being hit by a car carrying Naga Sadhus at Birla Ghat bridge area, official sources said.
The accident took place this morning when the procession of Joona Akhara was approaching towards Har-Ki-Pauri and the crowd lined up along the road to witness it and was hit by the car. Nine others were also injured in the incident.
The health office at the Mahakumbh Mela said seven persons had died today.However, it was not clear whether all the seven persons were killed in the accident or died in separate incidents.
After the mishap, Sadhus belonging to Joona and Niranjani Akhara did not proceed towards Har-Ki-Pauri, the main bathing ghat. Their procession returned to their camps and they took bath along with their deities at their private ghats only.
Later, sadhus of three more Akharas of Agni, Aahwan and Anand also joined Joona and Niranjani Akharas and did not take bath at Har-Ki-Pauri.
However, sadhus belonging to Mahanirvani, Nirmohi Ani, Digambar Ani and Nirwani ani reached Har-Ki-Pauri in the form of a procession and took their dip.
Other ghats in Haridwar and Rishikesh were full with pilgrims, who had gathered here from across the country to take the blessings of Ganga during the Mahakumbh.
The mela administration made elaborate security arrangements for the fourth and last royal bath of the Mahakumbh with 25 companies of PAC, 20 companies of RPF, 10 companies each of RAF and ITBP being deployed at the mela area.