Datia witnessed a stampede in 2006 in which nearly 50 people lost their lives and it was after this that the state government constructed a 500-metre-long bridge on the river Sindh to make it easier for devotees to reach the temple. Before this they had to cross the river on boats.
On Sunday, however, the police and local administration were exposed.
“There seems to have been no plan to monitor, schedule, control and pause the stream of people converging at the temple,” said a senior Indore police officer who did not want to be named. If such measures were not in place, it is no surprise that there was no contingency plan either.
But the police and administration did not admit to any failure on their part. The police claimed they had made better arrangements this time compared to previous years to contain any untoward incident. But they claimed that the mob turned violent.
More than 450 policemen were deployed and about 150,000 people visited the shrine -- almost double the number last year -- during the 10-day festival. Also, the space allotted for the mela at the shrine was not big enough for so many people, the police said.