Stampede at India’s Vaishno Devi shrine: 12 dead, 20 injured
In a tragic development, around 12 people lost their lives and 20 others got hurt after a stampede occurred due to a heavy rush of devotees at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, said officials on Saturday.
The incident happened near gate number three, which is located outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills.
The devotees had come in large numbers to pay their obeisance to mark beginning of the New Year, the officials said.
At the scene, the senior officials and representatives of the shrine board have reached.
The bodies of 12 people, who have died in the stampede, have been taken to a hospital in the Katra base camp for identification and other formalities.
Several of the injured people are undergoing treatment at Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, the officials said.
The condition of four of the hurt seems to be "critical". The shrine is still open and devotees are paying obeisance.
J&K LG Manoj Sinha, said, “An ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of those, who died in the stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Katra; Rs 2 lakh for the injured.”
A high-level inquiry has also been ordered into the incident. “It will be headed by Principal Secretary (Home) with ADGP, Jammu and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu as members,” added Sinha.