In a startling incident, a Jat Regiment jawan was beaten to death by a group of Kanwariya pilgrims while they were returning with Gangajal from Haridwar.
According to reports, the jawan was attacked with sticks and sharp objects, resulting in his death.
Meanwhile, a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against 20 Kanwariyas in this case has been registered, Haridwar SP Dehat Pramendra Dobhal said.
At least six of the pilgrims have been arrested till now, he informed, adding that search is on to nab the others.
Reportedly, the jawan, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, was also returning with Gangajal when the incident happened.
The 25-year-old deceased jawan was a resident of Sisoli in Muzaffarnagar and was presently posted in the Jat Regiment in Gujarat.
'Kanwar Yatra' is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by Lord Shiva's devotees in which devotees are known as 'Kanwariyas' visit places like Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch the holy water of the Ganges and then worship the God with the same water.
The Kanwar Yatra has resumed this year after a gap of two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Administrations of several areas are adopting necessary measures to avoid any untoward incidents during the holy pilgrimage.
Till now, over three crore Shiva devotees visited Haridwar to collect the holy Ganga water to be offered as 'Jalabhishek' to Lord Shiva.