Cassian Baliarsingh

Rash and negligent driving by a man in the holy city of Puri led to a series of accidents, leaving at least six people critically injured late last night. Among the injured are a few devotees and Puri municipal cleaning staff. All the injured have been admitted to Puri District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

According to sources, a man speeding on his car first hit a biker near Puri beach road. In a bid to escape, he sped away and then hit another scooty rider and his sister near Balagandhi Square. Later, he raced towards Puri ‘Bada Danda’ and hit three cleaning staff who were cleaning the area.

This led to severe unrest on Puri Bada Danda as the cleaning staff staged a protest, demanding the immediate arrest of the car driver for rash and negligent driving. The series of accidents, despite tight security for Rath Yatra, has received huge criticism from devotees.

Angry locals chased the car driver and brutally thrashed him while he was trying to escape through National Highway. He was then rescued by the cops and admitted to Puri DHH.

The accused driver has been identified as Umesh Bhattacharya.

If reports are to be believed, Bhattacharya even tried to escape from the hospital. However, he was detained and is currently under treatment. It was not immediately known if he was drunk or not.

Also Read | Puri Rath Yatra: Lord Balabhadra slips on ‘Charamala’ during Adapa Bije pahandi

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