At least 11 people lost their lives and 50 others were injured when a stampede occurred at a temple in Jharkhand’s Deogarh district early on Monday.
According to police, a woman was among those killed.
“Ten men and a woman died as the devotees tried to overtake each other at around 4 am,” Amit Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Deogarh, said.
The stampede occurred near a Durga temple, known as Baidyanath Temple, at Belabagan More on Deogarh-Jassidih, about 350 kilometres from Ranchi, Civil Surgeon Diwakar Kamath said.
All the injured have been brought to the nearby Sadar hospital and are being treated, Kamath added.
According to police, more than 100,000 people were in a queue, many waiting since last night to get into the famous Baidyanath Temple, when the stampede occurred.
“Rumours of temple doors being opened spread in the morning. People started running skipping queues which led to the stampede,” said SN Pradhan, ADG, Law and Order.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said additional forces were being sent to the state for crowd control.
“There is a huge rush of devotees. They asked for additional forces. So I have told the Home Secretary to send Rapid Action Force there,” Singh said.
BJP MP from Godda Nishikant Dubey said steps will taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
During Shravan month of the Hindu calendar, more than 30 lakh people offer prayers at the Baidyanath Temple. On Mondays, the number goes up substantially and around two lakh people offer prayers.