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Friday, January 28, 2022

Vaishno Devi stampede: Homemaker leaves behind two teenagers

After a long wait, Mamta went to the shrine with her 19-year-old son this week, and on Saturday, she was among the 12 people killed in a stampede there.

By: Express News Service | Gurgaon |
January 2, 2022 4:41:45 am
StampedeBodies of the stampede victims have been kept at a Community Health Centre at Katra, in Reasi district (PTI photo)

Thirty eight-year-old Mamta had postponed her pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir last year because of the pandemic.

After a long wait, Mamta went to the shrine with her 19-year-old son this week, and on Saturday, she was among the 12 people killed in a stampede there.

“We received information of the incident when we heard the news and then contacted our relatives. Her son Aditya told us over the phone that a group of people suddenly started pushing them near a pathway at the shrine complex. In the chaos, they were separated, Mamta fell and was crushed in the crowd,” Satbir, her brother-in-law, tells The Sunday Express from their hometown Beri in Haryana.

“Mamta and her son Aditya had gone for the pilgrimage on December 30. She wanted to go to the shrine earlier this year, but then Covid struck, so she had postponed her trip,” Satbir, 51, says, adding: “We are all in a state of shock.”

A homemaker, Mamta lived with her son and younger daughter in Beri, Jhajjar district. Her husband Surinder was an electrician, and died of health issues five years ago.

Satbir says Mamta was living on state pension of Rs 2,250 per month, and other family members used to help them out. “The extended family used to help her out in managing household expenses. The children are orphans now. While we will take care of them, we hope that the government can give her children jobs on compassionate grounds,” he says.

Her last rites are expected to be carried out on Sunday after her body reaches her hometown Beri overnight, he says.

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