Temple stampedes claimed over 900 lives in last nine years



New Delhi: Stampedes at temples and other religious places in India have claimed nearly 900 lives in the past nine years, including those who died in last night's melee at Sabarimala shrine.

Most recently, on March 4, 2010, about 63 people were killed and 15 injured when a gate at Kripalu Maharaj's Ashram at Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh collapsed during distribution of food on the occasion of a ritual, for which nearly 10,000 people had converged.

On September 30, 2008, more than 200 devotees were killed and over 60 injured in a stampede at Chamunda Devi temple in Rajasthan's Jodhpur city.

The incident took place when there was a rumour of a bomb going off. More than 10,000 people had turned up at the famous temple for a darshan of the Hindu goddess.

Such a tragedy at the Hindu temple of Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh on August 3, 2008 had killed over 150 people, mainly women and children, and injured about 230.

On March 27 that year, at least eight people were trampled to death and 10 seriously injured in a stampede at a temple in the remote Karila village in Madhya Pradesh.

The stampede at Mandhar Devi temple in Maharashtra in January 2005, when some people fell down on the steps made slippery by devotees breaking coconuts, claimed 340 lives.

Among other stampedes, at least six people were killed and 12 injured in July 2008 during the annual Jagannath Yatra in Puri, Orissa. In January 2008, five people were killed at Durga Malleswara temple in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

In October 2007, 11 people were killed in such a tragedy at Pawagah in Gujarat while in November 2006, four elderly people were crushed to death during a stampede at Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa.

Nealy 40 pilgrims were killed and 125 injured in a stampede at Kumbh Mela in Nasik in August 2003.

PTI