At least 24 killed in stampede near Varanasi, Centre assures support to victims

Senior police officials and administration rushed to the spot immediately to carry out rescue and relief operations.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 16, 2016 8:58 am
Varanasi, Stampede, Varanasi stampede, Varanasi news, Varanasi stampede news, Varanasi stampede deaths Varanasi: ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said the incident took place as people were brought for the camp in large numbers whereas permission was taken for a limited number of people. (Source: ANI)

At least 24 people were killed and several others were injured in a stampede near Varanasi on Saturday. The incident occurred when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp. Senior police officials and administration rushed to the spot immediately to carry out rescue and relief operations.

A government spokesperson in Lucknow said the administration is keeping a close watch on the situation annd all necessary measure are being taken on the same. The official also added that an inquiry will be instituted to find out the cause of the stampede.

ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said the incident took place as people were brought for the camp in large numbers whereas permission was taken for a limited number of people. “One person died of suffocation because of the surging crowd on the narrow bridge. This led to rumours which resulted in the stampede,” Chaudhary said, adding that the number of casualties may rise further.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Jai Gurudev Sansthan, Raj Bahadur said the devotees were proceeding towards the camp on the bridge but the police started sending them back even though the inflow on the bridge was not stopped. “We were not prepared for such a large crowd,” he said.

READ: Varanasi stampede: Other tragedies that have cost lives

Just after the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced Rs 2 lakhs each for kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 each for the critically injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too offered his condolences on the loss of lives while announcing an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs to the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured.

READ: PM Narendra Modi expresses grief over loss of lives

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed shock and grief over the incident. In the meantime, Sonia has instructed the UP Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), Varanasi DCC and Congress workers to provide all possible assistance to the people.

READ: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi express grief over Varanasi stampede

Commenting on the incident, SP leader Gaurav Bhatia said it’s an unfortunate incident, adding that “the CM office monitoring situation.Guilty will be booked for negligence.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also directed the Varanasi administration to provide all possible help to those affected in the Rajghat bridge stampede. “I’ve spoken to the Commissioner of Varanasi who apprised me of the situation. I also asked the Varanasi Commissioner to provide all possible help to those affected by the tragedy,”
he told reporters after inaugurating a 10-day ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ here.

“There have been loss of lives and people have been injured also. It is a sad incident,” Singh said. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said the incident “indicates the mis-management” of the arrangements for the event and expressed the need to fix responsibility. “It is a sad incident. It shows the mis-management of the arrangements. We have to fix responsibility for it and be cautious such incidents do not reoccur,” he said.

This is not the first time that a stampede has cost precious lives. In the recent past, during Mayawati’s rally, two women were killed and 21 people injured in a stampede at the main gate of the Kanshi Ram Smarak Sthal after BSP chief Mayawati addressed a huge gathering there to mark party founder Kanshi Ram’s tenth death anniversary.

On February 8, four people in Tamil Nadu died after drowning as a stampede broke out in the Tiruvannamalai temple. It was early in the day, as thousands of pilgrims tried to join the priests surging towards the temple pond as part of ‘Mahodhaya Punniya Kalatheeravari’, an auspicious day ritual that occurs only once in 30 years. The stampede was caused because the authorities failed to estimate the number of pilgrims before hand, and the situation went beyond control when the rituals started.

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  1. A
    Ashok
    Oct 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm
    Will we be carrying out surgical strikes against stan, 19 have been killed.
    Reply
    1. M
      MyTake
      Oct 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm
      Again crowd control issue. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;When India will learn its lesson?
      Reply
      1. A
        Alok
        Oct 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm
        Its the time to learn the lession that the pilgrims are not safe in Just type of places. Again its happen when they Will learn.
        Reply
        1. A
          Anand Prakash
          Oct 15, 2016 at 2:38 pm
          The tenor of your reply says much about your sense of decency and upbringing.
          Reply
          1. A
            arc
            Oct 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm
            A surgical strike by sanghis. Congrats.
            Reply
            1. A
              arc
              Oct 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm
              Better still, a surgical self-strike by sanghis.
              Reply
              1. A
                arc
                Oct 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm
                No. I am a robot created in the Vedic lab.
                Reply
                1. A
                  arc
                  Oct 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm
                  Some crook posing as guru is always behind such tragedies. Why do stampedes always happen at temples and such gatherings?
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    Kaliyug
                    Oct 16, 2016 at 2:38 am
                    UP=UnPad, everything related to ignorance is present and prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, the only goons profiting out of this are the politicians and those who disburse any money to the dead and injured. Corruption is the root for this problem, the police are not interested in any crowd control, such kind of job for the police is not income generating, it tires them into a mundane work where politicians are profiting to get the ignorant to vote for them. Policemen just allow these useless Gurus of Garbage to take these ignorant Bhakts to death marches. Dirty Ganges and dirtier Varnasi has no God present.
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Kaliyug
                      Oct 15, 2016 at 4:47 pm
                      When ignorance guides you through life then disasters that can be averted take place, you can see most will be people with little or no education trying to jump the line to get blessings, as if God resides by the dirty banks in Varnasi.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        ASHOK KUMAR
                        Oct 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm
                        Modi should cut short his visit to Goa and return to Varanasi to see whether people from his consuency have been trapped due to good governance of Varanasi administration.
                        Reply
                        1. L
                          L bhadrapati Devi
                          Oct 16, 2016 at 4:00 am
                          A disaster of such magnitude can be avoided if district authority arrange disaster mitigation in advance.
                          Reply
                          1. L
                            L bhadrapati Devi
                            Oct 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm
                            Are you human to post such comment in the wrong situation? Even enemy doesn't post such uncivilized comment.
                            Reply
                            1. L
                              L bhadrapati Devi
                              Oct 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm
                              How ungrateful terror outfits are!
                              Reply
                              1. L
                                L bhadrapati Devi
                                Oct 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm
                                Some stani non state actors are posting comment in such tragedy. Look how they observe decency.
                                Reply
                                1. M
                                  Manu USA
                                  Oct 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm
                                  It's so bad. India needs to do something to stop the kind of meetings n n Baba's.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Manu USA
                                    Oct 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm
                                    Why Indians run for these kind of movements and Baba's. They fool illiterate people.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Ashok Mazumdar
                                      Oct 16, 2016 at 2:58 am
                                      Is it bacz UP Elections?
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        surinder
                                        Oct 15, 2016 at 4:53 pm
                                        Such tragedies happen in BHARAT repeatedly as death of a few poor citizens does not affect the high and mighty . Enquiries are ordered , reports made and no one is fixed. The cycle repeats . First HANG the Chief Secy and DGP whose job is to ensure order and safety of people in such events . Excuses of larger than allowed turnout etc are fakes . What were those responsible for site management doing when system seemed failing . lt;br/gt;This is Indian -Demoncracy .
                                        Reply
                                        1. I
                                          Indian
                                          Oct 16, 2016 at 4:32 am
                                          This shows how good Akilesh. He can't make a arrangement for such small crowd ,he is not fit for as a CM. He is not bothered for such things. He must understand how professionally Maharashtra Govt and MP Govt. managed Kumba Mela without any incidents.
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            PRAVIN S
                                            Oct 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm
                                            i dotic ig noran t undisipl ined , hypocri tical public deserves punis hment like this
                                            Reply
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