High-level probe ordered into Junagadh stampede

Last Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 12:26

Rajkot: The Gujarat government has
ordered a high-level inquiry into the stampede at the Bhavnath
Temple`s annual Mahashivratri fair in Junagadh, which left six
pilgrims dead and over 40 injured.

"A high-level committee, headed by Additional Chief
Secretary Varun Maria has been set up to probe the stampede
incident," a senior officer at the Junagadh District
Collector`s office said.

The state government and the Junagadh Municipal
Corporation (JMC) have also announced an ex-gratia amount of
Rs 1 lakh each to the family of the deceased and Rs 25,000
to the injured.

Also, police have made elaborate security arrangements to
ensure that today`s Shivratri festival passes of peacefully.
IG (Rajkot) Pravin Sinha has been deputed to oversee the
rescue operations on the spot.

In view of the mishap, Akhil Bhartiya Sadhu Samaj, the
main organisers of the fair have decided to call off their
famous procession and said that only a symbolic procession
would be taken out instead.

Six persons, including three women and two children, were
killed while over 40 persons were injured in the stampede last
night during the Mahashivratri fair at the narrow Panjnaka
bridge, the lone entrance to the famous Shiva temple, 150 kms
from here.

The stampede occurred following panic after the brakes of
a four-wheeler at the fair venue apparently failed, police
said.

The popular fair, which will conclude today, is organised
every year at the temple and nearly 10 lakh people are
expected to attend it this time, officials added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 12:26

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