Lucknow, July 20 (IANS) More than 100 kanwariyas were injured, of whom at least a dozen are critical, after their camp in Uttar Pradesh was hit by lightning early on Thursday, police said.
The kanwariyas or Lord Shiva devotees were taking rest under the shed of an abandoned petrol pump in Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli area when lightning struck and the shed collapsed, burying many.
A total of 100 kanwariyas were injured of whom 12 are in critical state, police told IANS. Most of the injured are residents of Meerut and Ghaziabad.
Machines were pressed into service to remove the debris and pull out those trapped inside while senior district and police officials camped at the spot to oversee relief and rescue operations.
The seriously injured have been identified as Sunny Thakur, Nitin Arya, Yogendra, Rakesh Goswami, Rajendra, Sonu, Ajay Singh, Amit, Sumitpal, Maniram, Sagar and Manoj.
The kanwariyas undertake a tough pilgrimage from the first day of the Hindu month of Shravan, walking with pitchers of the holy Ganga water all the way from Haridwar to their home towns and villages where the pitchers are emptied at Shiva temples.