Sagar Island (WB): Four pilgrims died of heart attack and 147 others were taken ill as over two lakh devotees took a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganga and Bay of Bengal on the eve of Makar Sankranti on Saturday.
While Chuni Lal (44) of Delhi, Vindeswari Devi (75) and
Om Prakash Yadav (66) of Bihar collapsed on their way at
Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip, Jashram (80) of Gwalior in Madhya
Pradesh died soon after his bath here this morning, official
Altogether 147 faithfuls were admitted to a make-shift
hospital at the Mela ground after they complained of stomach
pain and vomiting following their lunch. Most of the patients
were released late in the night.
More than two lakh devotees took a dip during the day
taking the total number to four lakh since January 9, the
Among the devotees were BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and
Uma Bharati besides Supreme Court Judge Justice C K Prasad.
Elaborate security arrangements were made with
installation of ten watch towers, deployment of 6,500
policemen along with coast guards, BSF and Navy. About 7,000
volunteers of different NGOs and civil defence personnel were
also at work.
The security force in the sea were equipped with
hovercraft and small aircraft.
Four state and one central ministers of the Trinamool
Congress were camping at the site to monitor the arrangement.