35 kanwariyas died during Kanwar Yatra, 266 saved from drowning: Cops

Updated on Jul 28, 2022 05:47 PM IST

A total of 132 people were rescued in the twelve days of the Kanwar Yatra by Bengal Sappers squad while the rest were saved by Jal Police personnel

Bengal Engineering Group Sappers squad keeping vigil at Ganga Ghat on Thursday prior to leaving for Roorkee BEG Centre in Haridwar. (HT PHOTO.)
Bengal Engineering Group Sappers squad keeping vigil at Ganga Ghat on Thursday prior to leaving for Roorkee BEG Centre in Haridwar. (HT PHOTO.)

The twelve-day long Kanwar Yatra which concluded on Tuesday and attracted over 3.8 crore kanwariyas from across the country, also witnessed the deaths of 35 of them due to road accidents, health issues and drowning incidents, police said.

Jal Police--the special water wing of the Uttarakhand police carried out rescue operations in the Ganga River, accompanied by the Indian Army’s Bengal Engineer Group (Bengal Sapper) squad and managed to save 266 kanwariyas from drowning at various Ganga ghats both near the Ganga River and Ganga canal.

When the fair started, an increase in the number of cases of drowning and kanwariyas slipping and falling into the river came to light. The Mela administration asked for deployment of the army’s Bengal Sappers squad at sensitive Ganga ghats.

A total of 132 people were rescued in the twelve days of the Kanwar Yatra by Bengal Sappers squad while the rest were saved by Jal Police personnel.

A total of 30 officials and expert divers in four well-equipped motor boats were deployed for Kanwar Yatra duty from Bengal Engineering Group, Roorkee Centre. As millions of kanwariyas arrived on a daily basis the squad ensured round-the-clock patrolling, movement and rescue operation,” said Nodal Officer BEG Sapper Kanwar Mela Dr Naresh Chaudhary.

District magistrate Vinay Shankar Pandey felicitated the BEG Sapper squad and Jal Police personnel on Thursday for carrying out their duties with dedication at CCR Mela tower. The squad left for Roorkee BEG Centre on Thursday evening.

According to the district hospital medical superintendent Dr Chandan Mishra, from July 14 when the Kanwar Yatra commenced to July 25 when kanwariyas left Haridwar, a total of 35 post-mortems were conducted of people from other states who died in Haridwar.

“Many kanwariyas died on the national highway owing to vehicular accidents. Half a dozen incidents of motorcycles catching fire also got reported during the Kanwar Yatra with thirty odd two-wheelers getting gutted in a fire,” said city police station house officer Rakendra Kathait.

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