Steps to be taken to prevent tragedies like Naina Devi: Rao

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Nagpur, Aug 4 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Governor Prabha Rao today said the government would initiate steps to prevent tragedies like the stampede at the Naina Devi temple in the state that claimed 145 lives yesterday.

Speaking to reporters here, Ms Rao said she would speak to Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to discuss ways to avoid the recurrence of such a tragedy.

''We will put in place all such security and safety measures as would be necessary to ensure the well-being of pilgrims at places of religious importance in HP,'' she said.

Describing the incident as 'unfortunate', Ms Rao said she had been in constant touch with the Chief Minister after the tragedy.

The Chief Minister had issued all the necessary instructions to the administration as well as to the ministers in his cabinet, she said.

Earlier, a function to felicitate Ms Rao, scheduled here this morning, was cancelled in view of the tragedy. A condolence meeting was held instead. All those present observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

Ms Rao told reporters that a similar function, scheduled to be held in Wardha later today, had also been cancelled and a condolence meeting would be held instead.

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