A stampede at an ancient Durga temple in Jharkhand’s Deoghar town early on Monday resulted in the deaths of at least 11 people and injuries to 50. Similar incidents have taken place at this site in the past.
According to police, more than 100,000 people were in a queue by 4 am, many waiting since Sunday night to get into the famous Baidyanath Temple, when the stampede occurred.
As soon as the temple gates opened, the crowd started jumping queue. According to NDTV, the police used batons to control the crowd but failed. Those who were sleeping along the way to the temple or fell were crushed.
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.
In August 2007, at least five women were killed and 11 injured in a stampede at the Baidyanath temple.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has ordered an inquiry and announced compensation, but denied that police used lathi-charge.
Deoghar is 300 kilometers from Ranchi.