Prayagraj Police arrested a serial killer from the ongoing Kumbha Mela on Friday. According to latest reports, the accused identified as Kaluwa alias Sai Baba was planning to murder two seers in during the religious congregation. The police said that the 38-year-old has reportedly killed 10 individuals in last six months in and around Prayagraj. The arrest sent shockwaves across the Mela. The accused used to attack the people during their sleep. He would attack them with an axe and slit their throats. At the time of arrest, Kaluwa Patel had a blood-soaked axe in his possession. “We initiated operation 'serial killer' about six months ago,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Allahabad, Nitin Tiwari said.
The accused used to stalk victims and attack them during night time. The police said that he seemed to be mentally unstable. Kaluwa Patel also confessed of killing two labourers near Durga Puja Park in Kydganj. “He told us that he murdered one labourer near Kotha Parcha area on December 24 followed by another one near Triveni Darshan Road on January 10 and another outside Udaseen Akhara campus in Kydganj on January 13,” a Prayagraj Police official was quoted as saying.
Ardh Kumbh is held in every six years, while the Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years. The Yogi Adityanath government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh. The mela draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of approximately 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river. The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis and pilgrims from all walks of life. In all there are six auspicious bathing dates in this Kumbh - Makar Sankranti (January 15), Paush Poornima (January 21), Mauni Amawasya (February 4), Basant Panchami (February 10), Maghi Poornima (February 19) and Mahashivratri (March 4).
According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, the mega Kumbh Mela is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study.
(With PTI inputs)