ROORKEE: Despite efforts to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the state, a kanwaria died after he was allegedly stabbed by some unknown persons during a row over holy water here on Sunday. The identity of the victim is yet to be established. Police here said that they have approached their counterparts in the neighbouring states to ascertain the victim’s identity.According to reports, the victim, who was carrying holy water from the Ganga in Haridwar on Sunday morning, reached a roadside camp near the Ganganahar Canal at Daulatpur village with blood oozing out of his upper torso. He reportedly told the caretakers of the shelter that a group of unidentified kanwarias had attacked him with a knife. He was rushed to district civil hospital in an ambulance, but did not survive the journey.

Some reports have suggested, the victim had been involved in a heated argument with the group over the “disrespectful” manner in which they were carrying Ganga jal. They allegedly attacked him as he had kicked their urns. The clash turned ugly and the victim was stabbed, a vernacular newspaper has reported.

“He was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon like knife,” superintendent of police (city) Navneet Singh told TOI.

Police have during the Kanwar Yatra deployed their personnel in plain clothes at various points along the pilgrim route to avoid an untoward incidents.

“It is the failure of the police. If it had a proper vigil over the movement of kanwarias, such an unfortunate incident would not have occurred,” said local BJP leader Adesh Saini.

Police said that it has stepped up its vigil and have also started an investigation into the matter. “We have registered a case against unknown persons under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. However, neither the identity of deceased nor assailants has been ascertained so far. We have approached the police in the neighbouring states for any information on the identity of the victim,” said Bahadrabad police station officer Amar Chand Sharma.

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