A roadways bus crushed two kanwariyas to death after ramming their motorcycle on National Highway-9 in Nilikehri village in Amroha district on Monday morning, police said.
According to police, the deceased were identified as Rahul, 17, and Gaurav, 23. Both hailed from nearby Moradabad district and were part of a group of kanwariyas. The deceased were on their way back after collecting water from Brajghat in Garhmukteshwar when the accident happened, police said.
They added that the other kanwayriyas accompanying the deceased claimed that the bus driver was driving on the wrong side of the road.
Angry over the accident, the group of kanwariyas smashed the window panes of the bus and blocked the national highway. They stopped protesting after senior police officers intervened.
“The two were rushed to the hospital where they succumbed during treatment. The blockade was cleared after we assured the protesting kanwariyas that action would be taken against the bus driver,” said Additional Superintendent of Police, Amroha, Chandra Prakash Shukla.
Shukla also said the driver of the bus fled the scene. “He was hired by Uttar Pradesh State Regional Transport Corporation from a private agency. He has not been arrested yet, but efforts are on to nab him.”
Police have lodged an FIR against the bus driver and initiated an investigation.
“The bodies were sent for a post mortem examination and were later handed over to the family members,” police said.
“The incident occurred on National Highway 9 under Dindoli Police Station limits when their bike was hit by a bus. Some kanwariyas attacked the bus after the incident,” Superintendent of Police, Amroha, Aditya Langeh said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also expressed grief over the accident. “#UPCM @myogiadityanath has expressed deep condolences on the loss of life due to road accident in district Amroha. Praying for peace to the departed souls, the Chief Minister expressed his condolences to the bereaved families,” the Chief Minister’s Office tweeted in Hindi on Monday.
The kanwar yatra started this year on July 14 with the Hindu month of Shravan after being suspended for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The yatra would conclude on July 27.
(With PTI inputs)