Three die in Rajasthan temple stampede

Updated on Aug 09, 2022 12:26 AM IST

The incident took place around 5 am when the doors of the temple opened for the public and a 63-year-old woman who suffered from a heart ailment collapsed, said Sikar superintendent of police Kunwar Rashtradeep. “Two women behind her too fell due to the rush and died,” said the SP.

Sikar district collector Avichal Chaturvedi said prima facie, they died of suffocation but the exact cause of death will be clear after post-mortem. (PTI)
Sikar district collector Avichal Chaturvedi said prima facie, they died of suffocation but the exact cause of death will be clear after post-mortem. (PTI)
By, Jaipur

Three women were killed and four others injured in a stampede outside the Khatu Shyamji temple in Rajasthan’s Sikar district when people waiting in queues tried to rush inside in the early hours of Monday, officials said.

The incident took place around 5 am when the doors of the temple opened for the public and a 63-year-old woman who suffered from a heart ailment collapsed, said Sikar superintendent of police Kunwar Rashtradeep. “Two women behind her too fell due to the rush and died,” said the SP.

Sikar district collector Avichal Chaturvedi said prima facie, they died of suffocation but the exact cause of death will be clear after post-mortem.

“The women fell due to the pressure of the crowd in their line. The lines for the entry to the temple start at different points and converge at the entry point,” he said.

The deceased were identified as Shanti Devi (63) from Hisar (Haryana), Kripa Devifrom Jaipur, and Maya Devifrom Uttar Pradesh while Shivcharan (50), Manohar (40), Indradevi (55) and Anoji (40) were injured in the incident, police said.

The local station house officer (SHO) was suspended after the incident. “There was a heavy rush outside the temple… The situation was not handled well. Therefore, SHO Riya Chaudhary was suspended,” said the SP.

The state government announced 5 lakh compensation each to the family of the deceased from the chief minister’s relief fund while the injured will get 20,000 each. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said an inquiry will be conducted by the divisional commissioner.

Expressing grief over the incident, Gehlot tweeted in Hindi: “The death of three women due to a stampede in Khatu Shyam Ji in Sikar is very sad and unfortunate. My deepest condolences are with the bereaved family members.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the deaths. “Saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at the Khatu Shyamji Temple complex in Sikar, Rajasthan. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest,” he tweeted.

The number of devotees at the temple has increased after Covid-19 restrictions ended, officials said, adding that a fair is held at Khatu Shyamji on Phalgun Ekadashi every year.

“Lakhs of devotees visit the temple during the month of Phalgun every year and elaborate arrangements are made for crowd control,” the collector said. “We are now examining what alternative arrangements can be made to handle big crowds on such days.”

Earlier, visitors would mostly come from Delhi and Haryana, but now devotees are coming even from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the collector said, adding that close to 100,000 devotees visited the temple on Monday, which was also an Ekadashi.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is Special Correspondent for Rajasthan. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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