A stampede took place when thousands of devotees gathered at Vaishno Devi Bhawan to pay their obeisance to mark the beginning of a new year, officials said.
A stampede at Jammu and Kashmir’s Mata Vaishno Devi shrine has killed 12 pilgrims and injured more than a dozen others. A “minor altercation between some young boys” triggered the stampede during the massive rush of New Year devotees, officials said today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keeping track of the tragic situation personally, the PM’s office said.
The Additional Director General of Police, Mukesh Singh, confirmed that 12 pilgrims are dead and at least 14 injured in the stampede. “All the injured have been taken to a hospital,” said Singh.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said the stampede occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on Trikuta hills. A high-level inquiry has been ordered into the stampede.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said preliminary information from the scene suggests a minor altercation between some young boys led to the stampede at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in which 12 people died. The police and officials of the civil administration were quick to respond, and the situation within the crowd was immediately restored, but by that time, the damage had already been done,” he told Press Trust of India. Further, he stated that all those injured have been taken to hospitals, where their conditions are described as “serious”.
The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir provided helpline numbers for the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.