One killed, 16 injured after vehicle runs into religious procession in Chhattisgarh

Two occupants of the vehicle were later arrested from the outskirts of the town while the vehicle itself was found burning

Updated - October 16, 2021 02:34 pm IST

Published - October 15, 2021 07:03 pm IST - Bhopal

Screengrab of a video tweeted by former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh showing an SUV mowing down a religious procession at Pathalgaon in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh

Screengrab of a video tweeted by former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh showing an SUV mowing down a religious procession at Pathalgaon in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh

In a tragic incident, one person died and over 16 people were injured after an over-speeding car laden with ganja (cannabis) mowed down devotees who were on the way to immerse a Durga idol in Pathalgaon in Chhattisgarh's Jashpur district on Friday. Condition of two injured in the incident is said to be critical.

According to unconfirmed reports, at around 1 pm in the afternoon, residents of Bazarpara locality were taking out a procession for the immersion of Goddess Durga idols, when a SUV coming from Kansabel side ran into the procession.

Even after hitting the crowded religious procession the two occupants of the SUV fled from the spot but were nabbed by the locals near a farm. 

The occupants of the SUV were identified as Bablu Vishwakarma, and Shishupal Shori, residents of Singrauli district in Madhya Pradesh, while the vehicle was found to be burning when the Police reached the spot.

The car was being driven by drug traffickers, who were hauling drugs from Odisha to Madhya Pradesh, Ajay Yadav, IG, Jaishpur told media persons.

After the incident, tension prevailed in Pathalgaon  about 450 kms from Raipur - the State capital. A large number of locals gathered outside the pathalgaon police station demanding action against police officers who allowed the SUV to pass when the procession was underway.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel condemned the incident.

“An inquiry has been ordered. No one will be spared. Justice will be done to all. May the departed soul rest in peace. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Bhupesh Baghel tweeted in Hindi.

An assistant sub-inspector has been suspended, an official told The Hindu.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister and State Bharatiya Janata Party Vice president Raman Singh has termed the incident tragic and demanded a compensation of ₹50 lakh to the family of the victim who died after being run over by the vehicle in Pathalgaon.

“This video is very painful. In Chhattisgarh, the drug mafias have no fear of anyone. Will those taking out religious processions be crushed like this now? Raman Singh tweeted.

“Jashpur SP should be removed immediately. The kin of the deceased should be given ₹50 lakh compensation and immediate arrangements should be made for the treatment of the injured,” former chief Minister demanded.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Gaurav Agrawal, who lost his father in a road accident a few years back.

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