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Parents missing, toddler stranded

A biscuit in her right hand and a murmur of mum mum on her lips, a toddler anxiously waits to be in her parents' arms at Naina Devi Temple in Bilaspur.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2008 23:56 IST

A biscuit in her right hand and a murmur of 'mum mum' on her lips, a toddler anxiously waits to be in her parents' arms at Naina Devi Temple in Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh.

No one knows yet whether her parents are alive after Sunday's stampede at the temple which killed more than 146 people and injured several others. No one has come forward to claim the child.

The one-year-old keeps looking at the eyes of strangers, hoping to find that flicker of acquaintance. And sitting on the lap of a temple attendant, she frantically calls out "mum mum" in her barely articulated syllables.

A doctor called by the Naina Devi Temple Trust after the child was found unattended said the infant was unconscious when he examined her but regained consciousness after a while and began looking for her parents.

The temple trust is taking care of the girl at the moment.

Sunday's tragedy has also left the entire stretch of the town to the nearby hilltop shrine grief stricken.

An old couple from Sirhind in Punjab is frantically searching for their two sons who had gone to the temple to pay obeisance while several are flocking to identify the dead and the injured.

The couple lamented that they had been made to run from pillar to post, but so far authorities had not given them any clue about their missing sons.

Heartrending scenes were observed at the temple site where the victims' relatives who have come looking for their kin since Sunday. Women, in particular could be seen crying bitterly.