The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested a Kanwar pilgrim in connection with vandalising a car in New Delhi’s Moti Nagar on Tuesday evening, ANI reported.
The police filed a case against unidentified people after a group of Kanwar pilgrims were caught destroying the car on video even though the two passengers in the vehicle did not file a complaint.
Kanwar is an annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees where as part of a ritual, pilgrims carry water from the Ganga river in containers suspended on the side of a pole. The pilgrims, called Kanwariyas, walk barefoot, often across hundreds of kilometres.
Witnesses said the pilgrims had blocked the road almost completely. The group stopped the car when it touched one of them, and got into an altercation with the duo inside. “When one occupant slapped a kanwar, agitated kanwariyas damaged the car,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi) Vijay Kumar.
They broke the car’s windows and doors with rods and sticks before turning it on its side. They also got into a scuffle with the male companion of the woman who was driving the car, and allegedly threw stones at them as they tried to escape.
Two policemen went to the spot and “tried to pacify the group but they did not stop”, an officer said. “One of them, in fact, tried to snatch the officer’s lathi [baton],” he added.
Meanwhile in another controversy related to the Kanwar yatra, Additional Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police (Meerut Zone) Prashant Kumar was seen showering rose petals on Kanwariyas from a helicopter yesterday.
The senior cop issued a statement urging people not to give the act a religious angle as flowers are used to welcome people. “No religious angle should be given to this, flowers are used to welcome people. Administration respects all religions and actively takes part, even in Gurupurab, Eid, Bakrid or Jain festivals,” Prashant Kumar told ANI.