1.6 cr take dip in Ganga at Mahakumbh

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 21:24

Haridwar: A total of 1.6 crore pilgrims
on Wednesday took a dip in the Ganga, the day of the last royal bath
in this year`s Mahakumbh as seven persons were killed and 17
injured, five of them critically, in a road accident and
stampede during the religious gathering.

1.60 crore pilgrims took a dip in the Ganga during the
last royal bath, a release from the Kumbh Mela administration
said.

Official sources said the reason for the huge rush was
that today`s bath was considered to be among the most
auspicious in a long time due to the unique celestial
combination on the occasion of Mesh Sankranti.

Meanwhile, tragedy struck the Kumbh as seven persons,
mostly women, died and 17 others were injured due to a car
accident and consequent stampede in this township.

As pilgrims gathered to witness the procession of
Joona akhara in the morning, a speeding car of sadhus rammed
into them, killing two persons on the spot. This triggered a
stampede in which five more pilgrims were crushed, an official
statement said.

The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals where the
condition of five persons was stated to be critical.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank expressed
grief over the incident and announced Rs 5 lakh relief to
family members of the victims. Nishank also asked the
administration to provide best medical care to the injured.

The Maha Kumbh continued without any other incident
with a large number of security personnel keeping a close
watch.

As a result of the deaths, Agni and Ahwan akharas led
by the Joona did not proceed to take a dip at the Har-ki-Pauri
but returned to their camps and took bath along with their
deities at their private ghats.

Some representatives of the Niranjani and Anand did
take a symbolic dip in the Ganga.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 21:24

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