A stampede-like situation during Janmashtami celebrations at a temple in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, resulted in the death of two devotees and injuries to seven others in the early hours of Saturday (August 20).
The incident happened at the famous Bankey Bihari temple.
“Prima facie, the cause of death is suffocation due to a heavy rush during the mangala aarti,” District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal said.
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A 55-year-old woman from Noida and a 65-year-old devotee from Jabalpur died in the incident, a senior official said.
The administration has taken the incident seriously and Agra commissioner Amit Gupta is reaching Mathura to assess the reasons that led to it and provide guidance to the local administration, the official added.
Shashank Goswami, a temple priest, said the incident took place at the time of the Mangala Aarti around 1.45 am when the courtyard was jam-packed with devotees.
Timely intervention and administration of first aid to the injured helped save many lives, he said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and directed officials to ensure that all necessary help is provided to the injured, according to an official statement issued in Lucknow.
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“The loss of life in the accident in the Shri Banke Bihari temple complex of Mathura is extremely heart-wrenching. Instructions have been given to the officials for proper treatment of the injured. My condolences are with the bereaved family. May the Almighty grant peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families,” the CM tweeted in Hindi.
मथुरा के श्री बांके बिहारी मंदिर परिसर में हादसे में हुई जनहानि अत्यंत हृदय विदारक है। घायलों के समुचित उपचार हेतु अधिकारियों को निर्देश दिए हैं।
मेरी संवेदनाएं शोकाकुल परिजनों के साथ हैं। परमपिता दिवंगत आत्माओं को शांति व शोक संतप्त परिजनों को संबल प्रदान करें।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) August 20, 2022
He also directed the Home Department to ensure proper arrangements are made at religious places during festivals to prevent any untoward incidents, the statement said.
(With Agency inputs)