Bandits' attack on pilgrims in Goverdhan leads to protests

Armed bandits attacked pilgrims staying in tents here, shot dead a security guard and robbed women of valuables, triggering protests in this land of Krishna, police said Saturday.

Goverdhan (Uttar Pradesh): Armed bandits attacked pilgrims staying in tents here, shot dead a security guard and robbed women of valuables, triggering protests in this land of Krishna, police said Saturday.

The bandits attacked the pilgrims who were staying in tents set up by the annual Braj Chaurasi Kos Parikrama Yatra by the Ballabha Sampradaya late Thursday.

Police said armed bandits looted 5-6 Gujarati women and took their cash and valuables. A security guard, Pop Singh, 43, who confronted one of the gang members was shot dead.

The yatra had started from the Vishram Ghat in Mathura Sep 5.

On Friday, Superintendent of Police Manoj Sonkar tried to pacify angry pilgrims. Security was beefed up but people charged the police and the Mathura administration with laxity.

Each year after Janamashtami, several yatras are taken out to cover on foot the entire 200 km stretch of the Braj area where Sri Krishna frolicked with Radha and gopis.

"The parikrama yatras by Vaishnav saints are led by the Goswamis of the Nathdwara (Rajasthan) temple priests or their family members. Each Yatra has thousands of followers," said Bankey Bihari, a Vaishnav attending the Bhagwat at Jatipura, where the incident happened.

He said the police is expected to keep a vigil and provide security.

On its part, police said an FIR has been registered and teams were combing the area.

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