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Kanwariya who vandalised car in Delhi’s Moti Nagar arrested

Rahul alias Billa, a resident of west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar, is an unemployed man with no education, said Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (west).

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2018 10:58 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kanwaria,Delhi,Damage
Rahul alias Billa, a resident of west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar, was arrested for vandalising a car in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar on Tuesday.

A 26-year-old ‘kanwariya’ with a criminal past was arrested on Thursday for his role in attacking and destroying a car involved in a minor accident in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar earlier in the week, police said.

Rahul alias Billa, a resident of west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar, is an unemployed man with no education and had been in jail for theft, said Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (west).

“He was out on bail in a theft case registered in 2014. He had spent six-seven months in jail back then,” said the DCP.

On Tuesday, he and other kanwariyas vandalised a car in Moti Nagar after it had allegedly brushed past one of the kanwariyas. The incident which was captured on camera, showed the culprits attacking the car with sticks, smashing its windscreens and windows before tipping it over on the road and triggering a massive traffic jam.

Police claimed that Rahul was travelling alone and did not even know the pilgrim who was allegedly hit and injured by the car.

Dressed in saffron, kanwariyas are devotees of Shiva who embark on a pilgrimage called Kanwar Yatra to various places along the Ganga and carry back the ‘holy’ water to temples in their areas.

CCTV footage and entries made by him in registers at several kanwariya camps along the route helped the police identify Rahul.

“When we checked the dossier of criminals available with us, we found Rahul’s name in it,” said the officer.

A police team finally arrested Rahul around 6.30 pm on Thursday.

The DCP said Rahul had not seen the news about the crime and did not know that the police were looking for him.

“He had collected Ganga water from Haridwar and was headed home when he joined other ‘kanwariyas’ to vandalise the car. He was clearly caught on camera using a stick to smash the car,” said the DCP.

Moti Nagar police registered a suo motu case of wrongful restraint and mischief causing damage on Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the crime.

Since both the offences are bailable, police have now added an Indian Penal Code section pertaining to rioting. “Rahul has been arrested for rioting which is a non-bailable offence,” Kumar said. The police had earlier attributed the initial delay in registering a case to the pending enquiry and the unwillingness of the victims to lodge a complaint.

Police said the kanwariyas were “agitated” after a couple in a car slapped a pilgrim after their vehicle brushed past him around 5.30 pm on Tuesday. “Rumours that the pilgrim was badly thrashed by the couple united the kanwariyas,” said the officer.

The police are yet to identify the pilgrim whose accident triggered the violence. Officers said CCTV footage has helped them zero down on at least three other suspects.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 21:44 IST