Jammu: A heavy rush of devotees triggered a stampede at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, killing at least 12 people and injuring 15 others. The stampede took place near gate number 3 outside the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum.
The stampede happened shortly after midnight. At around 2:15 am on Saturday, the stampede occurred when many people entered the Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan without permission slips.
News agency ANI has reported that as per initial reports, the stampede began when an argument broke out, leading to people pushing each other.
Senior officials and shrine board representatives are on the spot.
Hospital and police sources said at least 20 people were injured in the stampede and were taken to hospitals, including Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality hospital, and the condition of some of the injured was stated to be serious .
President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said he was “very distressed to know that an unfortunate stampede claimed lives of devotees at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan”.
“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery to those injured,” tweeted the President.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to pay condolences. “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,” tweeted the PM.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Manoj Sinha spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and briefed him about the incident. A high-level inquiry has been ordered into today’s stampede. The inquiry committee will be headed by Principal Secretary (Home) with ADGP, Jammu and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu as members.