On the first day of the New Year, thousands of believers flock to a temple in India’s Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir. But too many want to go into the sanctuary. An accident occurs at an entrance gate.
Katra – At least twelve people were killed in a mass panic near a shrine in India on Saturday.
16 more were injured in the incident at an entrance gate to the Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra in the Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir and were taken to hospitals, according to the news portal Times Now reported on New Year’s Eve. Nine of them were later released. Of the seven remaining patients, some were connected to ventilators.
Tickets had not been checked
The trigger was a massive onslaught of believers who wanted to pay homage to a mother goddess on the first day of the new year, the authorities said. According to initial findings, tickets had not been checked or not issued at all, so that large crowds stood at the gates and wanted to pour into the complex. The mass panic then broke out at one of the inlet gates. Usually tickets are sold at a gate one kilometer from the sanctuary or purchased online.
A local police spokesman first said on Saturday that the mass panic had occurred when entering the narrow room with the shrine of the mother goddess. The shrine is located on a hill. Despite the arduous ascent, it attracts several thousand believers every day.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter that he was extremely saddened by the loss of life in the mass panic. He hoped the injured would soon recover. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has set up a high-ranking political and police investigative commission to investigate the cause of the accident. She should now submit her report within a week. dpa
Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to JK LG Shri @manojsinha_ Ji, Ministers Shri @DrJitendraSingh Ji, @nityanandraibjp Ji and took stock of the situation.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 1, 2022