Haridwar: With the recovery of four more
bodies, the death toll in the stampede during a religious
ceremony near Har-ki-Pauri ghat on Wednesday climbed to 20.
In a related development, the authorities of Shantikunj
Ashram where the ceremony was taking place ended the birth
centenary celebrations of their founder Acharya Shreeram
Sharma in compliance with a state government directive.
SDM Haridwar Harbir Singh said a total of 20 bodies have
been recovered from the site.
The stampede broke out yesterday when people tried to
enter the `yajnashala`(place of sacred fire ceremony) at
Chandidweep Ghat for the celebrations.
Chief Minister B C Khanduri, who visited the stampede
site, had yesterday asked Shantikunj Ashram to curtail the
five-day function, which began on November 6.
Accordingly, a Shanti yajna was performed this morning
and the culmination of the celebration was announced after
observing silence by the devotees.
Khanduri along with his ministers also observed two
minute silence at his official residence during the state
foundation day function which was celebrated with a book
All tents erected for the function have been dismantled
by Shantikunj authorities this morning. The whole Chandidweep
area has been cordoned off by police, officials said.
Most of the followers have packed up their belonging in
the morning and left for their homes. A large number of
followers were seen proceeding toward railway and bus