On the first day, a group of pilgrims who had gathered at a Hindu shrine in Indian Kashmir died.
After a dispute broke out in front of a Hindu temple in a small Indian town, triggering a fatal stampede, at least 12 were reported to have been killed.
On Saturday, the tragedy occurred outside Mata Vaishno Devi shrine dedicated to Hindu Mother Goddess Devi in Katra. The first day of this year was marked by worshippers flooding to the shrine as midnight approached.
According to local media reports, the chaos began when two groups of pilgrims awaiting their turn at shrine started sparring.
“The incident occurred around 2:45 am, and as per initial reports, an argument broke out which resulted in people pushing each other, followed by stampede,”Dilbagh Sharma, police chief, told ANI news agency.
In the wake of these events, a large scale rescue operation was initiated. According to local media, around twenty-six people sustained injuries in the melee. They were then taken to several hospitals.
The pilgrimage was briefly suspended but resumed shortly thereafter.
Indian PM Narendra Modi offered condolences for the family members of the victims and directed to take care “all possible medical aid and assistance to the injured.”
“Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. We send condolences and sympathies to all the families who have lost loved ones. May the injured recover soon,”Indian PM tweets
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