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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014

Agitation over Kanwarias' death turns violent; vehicles torched

Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times  RAMPURA PHUL (BATHINDA), March 01, 2014
First Published: 22:03 IST(1/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:08 IST(2/3/2014)

The official vehicles of Bathinda SP (headquarters) Jasvir Singh and Maur DSP Jaspal Singh were torched by agitators protesting against the death of three Kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva), who were hit by a speeding truck near Tape in Barnala on Thursday.

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Two Kanwarias had died on the spot of the accident and the third, injured seriously, succumbed to injuries on Friday night. The protesters also blocked the Bathinda-Chandigarh national highway (NH) near the railway crossing for four hours starting from 11am.

SP (headquarters) Jasvir Singh said that Bathinda deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav, along with senior police and administration officials, were holding talks with representatives of the protesters when, all of a sudden, their Tata Sumo vehicles were set afire.

However, looking into the sensitivity of the case, being a religious one, the police have avoided to take any action against those involved in rioting, he said.

Local traders also kept their shops closed as a mark of protest.

Additional deputy commissioner Rajeev Prashar said that the state government would be giving a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the family of each victim.

Two Kanwarias had died on Thursday, but the third one Radhe Sham, who had suffered serious injuries, died on Friday night.

The situation went out of control when the police called for a riot control vehicle. The vehicles were set afire at about 4pm. Fire tenders were called in to dodge the fire, but before the fire tenders reached the spot, vehicles had been reduced to ashes.

A group of Kanwarias was hit by a speeding truck on Thursday near Tape in Barnala district. Two devotees, Suresh Kumar and Gurmail Singh, had died on the spot. The irate people had set afire the truck after the incident. The group of devotees owed allegiance to Shri Kanwar Mahadev Kanwar Sangh in Rampura Phul.

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