Haridwar, Jul 24: The fortnight long Kanwar fair started here amid tight security yesterday with the beginning of the holy month of Shravan as the district administration issued prohibitory orders in the city for the period.
Kanwariyas from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and other neighbouring states visit Rishikesh and Haridwar to collect the holy waters of the Ganga during the month.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made across Haridwar in view of the fair with the holy city divided into two zones and 22 sectors and section 144 of CrPC brought into force, SSP Rajiv Swarup said.
Twelve companies of PAC, two each of RAF and ITBP and bomb disposal squads have been deployed to maintain peace during the Kanwar fair which coincides this year with the holy month of Ramzan, Swarup said.
Peace committees too have been set up, he said, adding that anyone posing a threat to peace in the city during the period will be toughly dealt with.
Lakhs of kanwariyas visit Haridwar and Rishikesh annually during Shravan to collect holy water of Ganga river which they offer to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Maha Shiv Ratri.
In view of the recent calamity in Uttarakhand which left hundreds of pilgrims dead and thousands missing, the state government has decided to register and maintain a detailed record of kanwariyas during their visit to Haridwar and Rishikesh in Shravan.