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A minimum of 12 die at Stampede in a Hindu shrine in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Kashmir – A minimum of 12 folks had been killed and greater than a dozen injured firstly of the brand new yr.

A whole lot of individuals had been crammed right into a hall at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine within the hilly metropolis of Katra when an altercation broke out exterior at round 2:30 a.m., inflicting a mass panic, cops mentioned.

Dilbag Singh, chief police officer for the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the place Katra is situated, mentioned the officers responded shortly to 911 calls however “the injury has already been accomplished”.

One of many shrine’s worshipers, Bunty Singh, mentioned he, like 1000’s of others, got here to supply prayers simply after midnight, an auspicious time for a lot of Hindus to start the primary day of the yr. However Mr Singh, 45, a businessman from neighboring Punjab state, mentioned the streets resulting in the shrine had been full and there was little room to stroll.

“There was a sudden pleasure,” he mentioned. “Earlier than the push, there was a noise for a while, as if folks had been combating with one another.”

Lethal rushes throughout spiritual pilgrimages and festivals are widespread in India, the place public security measures are sometimes disregarded by temple authorities. The mass rushes are sometimes brought on by overcrowding in small areas with few exit management measures. In recent times, officers throughout the nation have tried to enhance public security at temples and shrines visited by a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals daily. In keeping with native officers, the temple authorities in Katra mentioned they’d taken the required safety measures.

In October 2013, no less than 115 folks died when 1000’s of non secular pilgrims panicked {that a} slender bridge they had been crossing may collapse. About half one million worshipers flocked to a temple within the northern state of Madhya Pradesh for a competition that month. In April 2016, a sequence of explosions brought on by fireworks throughout a non secular competition at a temple within the southern state of Kerala left 106 lifeless and a whole lot injured.

Manoj Sinha, India’s highest appointed official within the area, mentioned he had directed officers to research the onslaught and see how such incidents may very well be averted sooner or later.

Movies of Mata Vaishno Devi – which sits in a mountain about 1,200 ft above sea degree and is visited by hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims annually – confirmed 1000’s of individuals crowding for house close to the doorway to the shrine minutes earlier than the push. Later movies present ambulances dashing to the temple and 1000’s of individuals making an attempt to go away.

Amit Chowdhary, a businessman from Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, mentioned he was amongst about two dozen individuals who fell after they noticed an enormous crowd attempt to stroll via one of many shrine’s gates.

“Once I fell I assumed the primary day of this yr can be the final day of my life,” mentioned Chowdhary. “Individuals moved over the corpses. In some way I managed to tug myself up and run for my life. “

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Written by trendingatoz

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