Two persons died due to suffocation and seven were taken ill when heavy crowd gathered at Banke Bihari temple located in Vrindavan for Mangal Aarti on the occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, a senior officer said here on Saturday.
District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal said that two persons, including a 55-year-old woman, a resident of Noida, and a 65-year-old man, a resident of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, died due to suffocation during Mangala Aarti on Friday night.
Reports said that those, who died in the incident, have been identified as Nirmala Devi and Ram Prakash.
Meanwhile, while expressing grief over loss of lives in the incident Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Home Department to make more stringent arrangements at the religious places in the wake of the crowd during festivals, so that any untoward incident can be averted.
He has also directed the officials to ensure proper treatment of those, who were taken ill, in the incident.
The DM said that those taken ill were taken to the hospital after first aid, where their condition is stated to be stable. As per the latest information five persons have been discharged from the hospital, whereas the condition of two others is stated to be better.
He said that Mangla Aarti at Banke Bihari temple is held once in a year on the occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami. Divisional Commissioner of Agra Amit Gupta has reportedly reached Mathura.
An employee of the temple Shashank Goswami, who was present on the spot, said that people suffocated as the number of pilgrims swelled all of a sudden. He said that after this the policemen and other people present in the temple took the crowd out of the temple, but a woman and a man had died by that time.
Goswami said that the number of casualties would have been higher if the administration would not have acted promptly. He said that Mangla Aarti was not being held for the last two years due to the corona pandemic.
Goswami said that the turnout exceeded as expected as the pilgrims were allowed to participate in Mangla Aarti after two years.