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Kanwariya Yatra 2018: Devotees Vandalise, UP Top Cop Showers Flowers

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Kanwariya Yatra 2018: Devotees Vandalise, UP Top Cop Showers Flowers

This time the pilgrimage has attracted much criticism for turning violent and creating law and order issues in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. 

 

The Kanwariya Yatra this year has created an outrage as the pilgrimage has turned violent with pilgrims attacking civilians, vandalizing vehicles and obstructing traffic.

 

It is an annual pilgrimage in which devotees referred to as Kanwariyas collect water from Ganga (GangaJal) and walk barefoot to Shiva temples to offer it as worship. Millions of saffron clad devotees are seen carrying the holy water in pitchers by balancing them on shoulder using a sling known as Kanwars.

 

This time the pilgrimage has attracted much criticism for turning violent and creating law and order issues in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

 

 

 

On August 7, the pilgrims were reported to have vandalized a car in Moti Nagar, Delhi after the car brushed past one of the Kanwariyas. Though the couple who were in the car managed to escape, the car was turned upside down and damaged using sticks. A video of the incident is being widely shared in which the pilgrims are seen damaging the car while the police are unable to contain the situation.

 

 

In another incident on the same day, pilgrims were reported to have vandalized a police vehicle in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. It started off as an issue between two people out of personal enmity, reported Indian Express. One of them called a Kanwariya friend for assistance after which a group of around 50-60 attacked the police’s vehicle when they reached the spot.

 

Yet another incident was reported on August 9 in Muzzafarnagar. However, it was an altercation between two Kanwariya groups, according to News18.

 

 

The UP police have come under criticism after a video came out of ADG Prashant Kumar showering rose petals from a helicopter.

 

 

Kumar later said that the act should not be given a religious angle, as reported by ANI.

 

 

Last month UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also reported to have taken an aerial survey. The pilgrims also raised the slogan, ‘DJ bajwa diye Yogi ne, Bhole nachwa diye Yogi ne (Yogi switched on DJ, Yogi made the devotees dance)”.

 

It was also followed by political slogans against the state’s previous Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. “Akhilesh ne hukum sunaya tha, DJ per ban lagaya tha, 2017 ke chunav me Bhole ne usey haraya tha. Chakke chuda diye Yogi ne. (Akhilesh had announced their order, DJs were banned; And in 2017 Lord Shiva ensured his defeat; Yogi has cut him to size).”

 

The Yogi Adityanath government and UP police were criticized for going out of the way for the Kanwariyas. The government spent Rs 14 lakh for the helicopter to conduct the aerial survey, reported Economic Times.

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, there were also reports of police having distributed ‘red cards’ to 250 residents of Khelum village in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh warning them against creating trouble for the Kanwar Yatra. The card said, “We have secret information that during the Kanwar yatra you might create trouble…with this red card we are informing you that if you create any trouble during the Kanwar yatra, action will be taken against you. You will be held accountable.”

 

 

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