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Maha: Two warkaris die as earth-mover rams 'dindi' procession

Maha: Two warkaris die as earth-mover rams dindi procession

Pune: A snag-hit earth-mover on Tuesday morning rammed into a group of 'warkaris' (devotees of Lord Vitthal), killing two of them and injuring 15 others, in the Diwe ghat section near Pune in Maharashtra, police said.

The incident occurred in the Ghat (hilly area) between Saswad and Pune when several palanquins of Sant Namdev were on their way to Alandi village, said a Loni Kalbhor police station official.

"Several warkaris were resting at the place when an earth-mover's brakes failed and it rammed into one group. Two warkaris were killed and 15 others injured. Their identities are being ascertained," he added.

Warkari is a Marathi term meaning "one who performs the wari (pilgrimage)".

Some of the warkaris claimed that the driver of the earth-mover was cautioned against proceeding further in view of the crowd after his machine developed a snag, but he did not stop.

The driver was later arrested under section 304 (2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the police official said.

"The accused hails from Bihar. He has been working for railway projects in the area since the last few months," he added.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Kothrud in Pune and state unit president Chandrakant Patil visited the injured warkaris in hospital and announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased by the party.

He also assured them the BJP would bear the medical expenses of the injured devotees.

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram, who also visited the hospital, said a proposal to provide financial aid for the deceased and injured is being forwarded to the state administration.

Maharashtra is currently under President's Rule.



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