Vaishno Devi stampede: Union ministers, political leaders express condolences
The stampede at Vaishno Devi shrine, which happened on the first day of the year, has led to condolences from a number of politicians cutting across party lines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, Lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have expressed grief at the incident in which 12 people were killed early on Saturday.
Thirteen others were injured in the stampede, which occurred due to heavy rush of pilgrims on New Year Day. The yatra (pilrimage) was suspended following the stampede.
PM Modi said that he was “extremely saddened” by the loss of lives due to the stampede. “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,” he said in a tweet.
Further, he also announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh to the families of those that lost their lives from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). Also, those injured would be provided ₹50,000, he added.
He also announced ex-gratia to the victims. “Ex-gratia of Rs.10 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to stampede and Rs.2 lakh to injured. Shrine board to bear the cost of treatment of injured,” Sinha further said on Twitter. He also briefed the Prime Minister of the situation.
Union home minister Amit Shah said he was “deeply pained” by the stampede and had spoken with Sinha regarding the incident. “The administration is working continuously to provide treatment to the injured. I express my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this accident,” Shah said.
“The tragedy due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Bhawan is heart-wrenching. Anguished by the loss of lives due to it. My condolences to the bereaved families in this sad hour. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Union defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also condoled with the bereaved families. “The stampede at Mata Vaishnodevi temple is sad. My condolences to the families of the deceased. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the head priest of the shrine, Pandit Sudarshan, appealed to the pilgrims to not create further chaos at the shrine. He too expressed his condolences at the loss of lives due to the stampede.