One killed in temple stampede; consecration cancelled

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Tada, Andhra Pradesh, Apr 22 (UNI) An elderly handicapped devotee died in a stampede during the consecration ceremony of the Kalki Bhagavan temple at Varadapalayam near here today.

Police sources said the 60-year-old devotee, who was yet to be identified, breathed his last on the way to the Sulleripet Government Hospital in Nellore district.

Temple sources told UNI that the stampede was caused by the unprecedented rush of pilgrims. Over 6.5 lakh people thronged the temple, in a sprawling 43-acre area, on the opening day today, resulting in utter chaos.

''We expected about 15 lakh pilgrims for the week-long consecration ceremony. But, unexpectedly, the turnout was huge and the crowd became uncontrollable, leading to the mishap,'' they added.

Considering the safety of devotees and the heavy rush, the week-long ceremony was cancelled, they said.

The temple and the UniverCity were promoted by Oneness, a spiritual organisation focussing on enlightenment and relieving each human being from internal sufferings.

Special trains were run from various parts of the country in view of the consecration ceremony.

UNI KNR GD PK AS2034

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