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Vaishno Devi stampede, Union minister rushes to Katra

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Vaishno Devi
Photo Credit: Hindustan Times

Jammu and Kashmir Police Chief Dilbag Singh told that the rush occurred about 2.45 a.m. “According to first reports, an altercation erupted, resulting in individuals pushing each other and a stampede,” he stated. The incident occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the sanctuary atop the Trikuta hills, at gate number three.

On the first day of the new year, a significant number of devotees gathered at the temple for darshan.Thousands of people visit Mata Vaishno Devi every day to offer prayers, making it one of India’s most cherished Hindu shrines.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced that a high-level investigation into the stampede incident has been ordered, which would be led by the Principal Secretary (Home) and include members such as the ADGP (Jammu) and Divisional Commissioner (Jammu).

In addition, Sinha offered ex-gratia payments of ten lakh rupees to the families of those slain in the tragedy and two lakh rupees to the families of those injured. The national government has also offered ex-gratia payments of Rs. 2 lakh to the families of those who died and Rs. 50,000 to those whose family members were injured.

“Extremely saddened by the loss of lives. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

Jitendra Singh, a Union minister, has hurried to Katra to assess the situation. The pilgrimage to the shrine, which had been temporarily halted following the rush, has resumed. Pandit Sudarshan, the shrine’s head priest, has urged devotees to be calm and avoid causing havoc at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan.

After the event, one of the devotees, Prince from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, said he observed numerous injured persons. “The shrine board should allow only those number of devotees which it can manage,” he said, claiming that many of the injured were not able to receive medical aid.

The cave temple, which is located at an elevation of 5,200 feet in the Reasi area, attracts about a million pilgrims each year. The Vaishno Devi Shrine Board oversees the pilgrimage site’s operations, providing pilgrims with battery car and ropeway services to reach the top of the Trikuta hills for darshan.

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