Lucknow, July 17: Three pilgrims paid with their lives trying to save a stray cow while passing through Uttar Pradesh in a car today.
Mohammad Aslam, 48, Jahangir Alam, 35, and Dilshad Khan, 45, suffered fatal injuries when the driver took a sudden turn towards his right to save the cow in Unnao, 60km from Lucknow.
They were returning from the Khwaja Gharibnawaz Dargah in Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan.
Three other passengers of the car are wounded and undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kanpur.
"Aslam was driving the car. We suddenly noticed a cow on the expressway and he took a sharp right turn, ramming into the divider," said Mohammad Imran, one of the injured.
Stray cows, unlike buffaloes, search for dry places during the monsoon and often find shelter on the highways from where water drains faster after showers.
The traders, hailing from Bihar, were on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway when the accident took place.
Neha Pandey, Unnao superintendent of police, said: "They hit the divider while protecting a cow. All of them belong to the Marwari Mohalla in Gopalganj district of Bihar," she said.
The six had reached Ajmer Sharif on Saturday. On their way back, they had stayed for a day in Delhi for car repairs.
They then went to Aligarh to get Aslam's sons admitted to the Ayesha Tarin Modern Public School.