A driver of a private bus in Rajasthan allegedly mowed down 20 passengers — killing seven of them, including a five-year-old girl — from Agra on Wednesday after a tiff over money.
Twelve others were injured in the incident that took place at Hathi Ghata in Karauli district, around 150 km from here.
The police said around 60 passengers from Agra arrived at the Hindaun railway station at 3am to offer prayers at the Keladevi temple, 50 km away.
Raju Sharma, 26, the driver, offered to drop them at the temple at R40 per person and the passengers paid the fare. But when the bus reached Hathi Ghata, Sharma stopped at a petrol pump and asked for more money to buy diesel.
This enraged the passengers, who then allegedly beat him up and continued on foot. They also allegedly pelted the bus with stones.
But when the passengers were leaving the spot, “Sharma suddenly drove the vehicle into them”, said Om Prakash, superintendent of police, Karauli. “Six were killed on the spot and one died on way to a hospital in Jaipur.”
Sharma fled after the incident, but was arrested later. “A case of murder has been registered against the driver,” Prakash said.
“We are awaiting medical reports to ascertain whether he was drunk at the time of the incident.”
Six of the deceased were identified as Manisha, Sanjay, Akash, Parveen, Sindhi and Rahul. The identity of the seventh victim has not been established yet.