WB: 28 pilgrims injured as Makar Sankranti ends



Sagar Island: Twenty eight pilgrims were injured in road accidents as several lakhs of devotees took a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganga and Bay of Bengal on Makar Sankranti on Sunday.

Twenty two persons from Bihar were injured on their return journey when their vehicle overturned at Bamankhali, near here, this evening, police said. All the injured were hospitalized.

In another accident, six devotees from Haryana were injured when the bus in which they were returning turned turtle at Diamond Harbour in the morning. They two were hospitalised, police said.

Several lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country came here from January 9 till the concluding day today, District Magistrate NS Nigam said, adding that many foreigners also visited the place.

Among the visitors were BJP leaders Jaswant Singh, Uma Bharati and Supreme Court judge CK Prasad.

Elaborate security arrangements were made with installation of 10 watch towers, deployment of 6,500 policemen along with coast guards, BSF and Navy. About 7,000 volunteers of different NGOs and civil defence personnel were also at work, official sources said.

Security forces in the sea were equipped with hovercraft and small aircraft.

Four state and one central minister of the Trinamool Congress camped at the site to monitor the arrangements.

PTI