Tirumala teems with devotees on fifth day; 9 pilgrims injured

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Tirumala, Chittoor, Oct 5 (UNI) At least nine people were injured, four of them seriously, in a mild stampede at Tirumala tonight, as lakhs of devotees witnessed the 'Garuda Seva' on the fifth day of the nine-day brahmotsavams.

Over five lakh devotees from every nook and corner of the country and abroad converged on the seven hills, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, to worship the Lord on the occasion, amid tight security.

Police personnel failed to control the crowd which resulted in a stampede where nine pilgrims were injured, three of them seriously, including two woman and a handicapped person, while another 27-year-old diabetic pilgrim's condition worsened owing to the crowd.

According to Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) Aswini hospital in Tirumala, the injured, who received mostly fractures were shifted to BIRRD hospital, Government Maternity hospital and Government Ruia hospital in Tirupati.

It is for the first time that such a large number of devotees attended the most important event of Srivari temple, a (TTD) official said.

The TTD Chairman D K Adhikesavulu Naidu and Executive Officer K V Ramanachari, accompanied by TTD Chief Vigilancle Security Officer Mr Ramanakumar, inspected the arrangements to ensure that all requirements of devotees were met.

Security on the hills was strengthened to thwart any untoward incident. Door frame metal detectors were installed at all sensitive points. Water and food were supplied to devotees.

Srivari sevaks assisted the police and TTD officials on crowd management and regulating traffic on the hills.

Bedecked in invaluable precious ornaments and fragrant flowers, Lord Srinivasa, worshipped by the devout as Kaliyuga Daivam, rode Garduda Vahanam, which is the main event of Navaratri Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara.

Young and old alike lined up on both sides of Tiru Veedhulu to have glimpse of the Lord riding his favourite Garuda Vahanam.

Danta pallaki Vahanotsavam of the Lord was held in the morning.

Lord Venkateswara in Mohini Avataram enchanted the pilgrims.

All the departments worked in coordination to ensure that the pilgrims have no complaints, the TTD official said and thanked everyone for their effort to make the event such a grand success.

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