1.6 cr take dip in Ganga at Mahakumbh

1.6 cr take dip in Ganga at Mahakumbh 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.