Delhi police take 24 hours to file FIR after kanwariyas smash car

It took police nearly 24 hours to register an FIR (first information report) after a mob of at least 30 people participating in the fortnight-long Kanwar yatra wrecked a car that had allegedly grazed one of them in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar early on Tuesday evening.

delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2018 08:31 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi police,FIR,kanwariya
The group of kanwariyas used baseball bats, hockey sticks and stones to smash the Hyundai i10 car on the busy Najafgarh Road, barely 300 metres from Moti Nagar police station. (PTI/Picture for representation)

It took police nearly 24 hours to register an FIR (first information report) after a mob of at least 30 people participating in the fortnight-long Kanwar yatra wrecked a car that had allegedly grazed one of them in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar early on Tuesday evening.

Police said the two people in the car attacked by the ‘kanwariyas’ — videos of the incident went viral on social media on Tuesday night — did not want any legal action. On Wednesday, as anger grew over the brazen attack and the suspects apparently going scot free, police decided to take suo motu cognisance and register a case of wrongful restraint and mischief causing damage.

The maximum punishment prescribed for these offences is two years in jail, but the guilty could also be let off with a fine.

The group of kanwariyas used baseball bats, hockey sticks and stones to smash the Hyundai i10 car on the busy Najafgarh Road, barely 300 metres from Moti Nagar police station.

Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (west), said that mobile phone videos and CCTV footage of the incident would be examined to identify the miscreants, who had fled the scene by the time reinforcements arrived.

The DCP said there were three policemen at the spot, and they “did their best to pacify” the kanwariyas, but eyewitnesses suggested that they did not intervene.

Also read: Kanwariya camps in Delhi-NCR junk plastic for steel

The Kanwar yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, who march to Haridwar, Gaumukh, Gangotri and Sultanganj to fetch ‘holy water’ from the Ganga, and then walk with the water in pots, called ‘kanwars’.

Eyewitnesses of Tuesday’s incident said that such was the “intent and aggression” of the perpetrators that the car’s occupants ran for their lives and hid in the nearby metro station even before the onslaught began.

For about 20 minutes, the witnesses added, the kanwariyas smashed and overturned the car, being driven by a woman, damaged two other vehicles nearby in the process, and pelted stones at people recording the violence on mobile phone cameras.

“The car was taking a U-turn at the time. The kanwariya who had been hit caught up with the car and started banging on the windows, asking the occupants to come out,” said Junaid, who works at a garments shop near the scene of the crime.

He said some passersby tried to intervene, but other kanwariyas rushed to the vehicle. The DCP said the incident escalated after one of those inside the car slapped the injured kanwariya.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 00:23 IST