Nine persons,including eight women,were killed in a stampede at an ashram in Deoghar,Jharkhand,on Monday morning. The incident took place at Satsang Ashram of the late Thakur Anukul Chandra,where at least one lakh devotees had gathered to mark his birth anniversary. The stampede reportedly began during morning prayers when devotees tried to rush through the gate. About 30 devotees who were injured are being treated at the hospital owned by the ashram.
Initial reports put the blame on the ashram authorities for not relying on the police for crowd control. It seems that more than the anticipated number of people had gathered for the event. Like every year,we had offered our assistance, said Deoghar SP Subodh Prasad.
According to the SP,the ashram authorities asked the police only to assist with traffic management: They should have called us when they perceived things were getting out of control. Instead,they put trust in their 15,000 volunteers.
A family member of the deceased said,There was a huge gathering at the gate of the ashram around 5.30 am,and some people tried to rush in,triggering the stampede.
Condoling the death,Chief Minister Arjun Munda announced Rs 2 lakh each for the family of the deceased and free treatment to all the injured.
A probe has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. (With PTI)