Khatu Shyam Temple Stampede, Sikar, Rajasthan: Three women devotees died and at least four were injured following a stampede at the Khatu Shyam Temple in Rajasthan’s Sikar district early on Monday, the police said.
Rajasthan | Three people died, several injured at Khatu Shyamji Temple in Sikar where a stampede occurred during a monthly fair, earlier this morning. Two injured people referred to a hospital in Jaipur. Police present at the spot. Further details awaited. pic.twitter.com/bgnL9sRr1j
— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) August 8, 2022
Sikar SP Kunwar Rashtradeep told The Indian Express that the accident happened at around 4.30 am. “As the gates of the temple opened, the devotees tried to get in which led to the accident. The three deceased women were elderly people. The number of devotees visiting the temple increases on weekends, and especially on the 11th and 12th of each month according to the Hindi calendar. On Monday morning, there were around 1.5 lakh people visiting the temple,” the SP added.
Rashtradeep further informed that the CCTV footage of the accident indicated that the devotees hurried at one place near the gate when it was opened.
“The death of three women devotees in stamped at the Khatu Shyam Ji temple in Sikar is extremely saddening and unfortunate. My deepest condolences with the bereaved relatives,” tweeted Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, also wishing for the speedy recovery of those injured.
भगदड़ में घायल हुए श्रद्धालुओं के शीघ्र स्वास्थ्य लाभ की कामना है।
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 8, 2022
In one of the queues, a 63-year-old woman with a history of heart ailment collapsed. Two women behind her, too, fell down due to the rush. They died in the stampede, Superintendent of Police K Rashtradeep said.
SHO at Khatu Shyam ji police station Riya Chaudhary identified the 63-year-old deceased as Shanti Devi. Panic set as she collapsed, the official said.
Devi’s brother Mangat Ram told reporters, “As soon as the temple was opened for prayers, stampede occurred. Somehow, we managed to escape. My sister was old, so she got stuck and died. Others from my family sustained injuries.” The family had arrived from Hisar in Haryana.
Devi’s daughter Poonam said some other family members, including girls, too fell in the stampede but they managed to escape.
“We were all standing together in a queue when we felt a sudden push from behind and all of us fell. My mother died in the incident,” she said with tears in her eyes.
Saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at the Khatu Shyamji Temple complex in Sikar, Rajasthan. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest.
Expressing his anguish, Modi tweeted, “Saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at the Khatu Shyamji Temple complex in Sikar, Rajasthan. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest.” Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, too, expressed his grief.
“Death of three women due to stampede in Khatu Shyam ji in Sikar is very sad and unfortunate. My deepest condolences are with the bereaved family members,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Poonia demanded the state government to release compensation for the kin of those killed and injured.
Raje demanded an investigation into the incident and action against the guilty so that such incidents do not recur.
CCTV footage is being examined for better clarity on the incident, the SP said, adding efforts are being made to identify the two other deceased.
— With PTI inputs