Vaishno Devi stampede: PM Modi expresses grief, yatra suspended
Vaishno Devi stampede: Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the families of those who have been killed in the incident. The families of those injured will received ₹50,000, the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed grief over the stampede incident at Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir in which 12 people have died. He also offered condolences to the families of the deceased.
"Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to JK LG Shri @manojsinha_ Ji, Ministers Shri @DrJitendraSingh Ji, @nityanandraibjp Ji and took stock of the situation," PM Modi said on Twitter.
The Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the families of those who have been killed in the incident. The families of those injured will received ₹50,000, PM Modi said.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha's office announced an ex-gratia of ₹10 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the stampede.
Thirteen others were injured in the stampede which took place due to heavy rush of devotees on the first day of the New Year. They have been admitted to various hospitals, and the conditions of some of them are said to be "serious".
“The incident occurred around 2:45 am, and as per initial reports, an argument broke out which resulted in people pushing each other, followed by stampede,” Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The stampede occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district. The yatra (pilgrimage) to the holy shrine has been suspended after the incident.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a rescue operation soon after the stampede was reported.
The cave shrine is situated at an altitude of 5,200 ft in Reasi district and generally attracts close to a million devotees every year.
The operations of the pilgrimage site are managed by Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, which provides battery car and ropeway services to the pilgrims to reach the top of Trikuta hills for darshan.