145 killed in stampede at Naina Devi pilgrimage

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Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh), Aug 4: Tragedy struck the pilgrimage to the Naina Devi shrine in the district on Sunday, Aug 3 morning when 145 devotees, a majority of them women and children and aged men, were killed in a stampede after a railing at an entrance gave way under the weight of the Sunday, Aug 3 crowd. As many as 43 were injured, official sources at Shimla confirmed.

"The stampede took place after a railing on the way to the temple collapsed," Inspector General of Police, Law and Order, S R Mardi said. The large number of pilgrims had gathered at the temple to offer prayers on the occasion of Navratra and the railing on way to the temple collapsed due to heavy rush resulting in stampede, official sources said. Superintendent of Police K K Indoria and other senior district officers have rushed to the temple about 60 km from the Bilaspur district headquarters.

Sources said that at the time of the incident only about 100 police personnel were on duty at the shrine.


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