1 killed as tempo runs over pilgrims sleeping on temple premises in K’taka dist

A person was killed after a tempo ran over a group of pilgrims sleeping on the premises of famous Huligemma temple in Hulagi village of the district, police said on Tuesday.

Four people, including three women, were also injured in the incident.

The tempo driver — identified as Srinivas of Yarangaligi village in Ballary district — has been arrested. His vehicle has also been seized. Captured on CCTV camera, the horrifying incident of Monday night has gone viral on the social media raising concerns about the safety of thousands of devotees who visit the Huligemma temple.

The deceased has been identified as 75-year-old Tippanna, a resident of Nandihalli village near Karatagi town in Koppal district.

Mallamma from Ballary, Hanumavva Jogathi from Kukanur and Tukaram from Karatagi town suffered injuries in the incident and all of them have been shifted to the District Hospital in Koppal.

According to police, the accused who was driving tempo in an inebriated state could not control the vehicle and ran over devotees sleeping on the road in front of a shop on the temple premises.

CCTV footage has shown that even after running over the driver did not stop the vehicle. Munirabad police, who are investigating the case, stated that in an inebriated state, the driver had pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, which had led to tragedy.

Devotees and public have condemned the management of the temple for not arranging shelter for devotees who come from all districts of north Karnataka and Maharashtra. During festival days and No Moon days (Amavasya) thousands of devotees visit the temple and most of them sleep on roads.

Further investigation is on.

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