Three women devotees were killed on Monday in Rajasthan and four others were seriously wounded in a stampede at the famous Khatu Shyamji temple in Sikar district during a fair.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led chief ministers and other key leaders in paying heartfelt condolences for the lives lost.
According to the police, the injured were rushed to Jaipur for treatment while some were discharged after first aid at the primary health center in the temple here.
The incident happened around 5.15 am. There was heavy pilgrim presence due to the auspicious Ekadashi day. The devotees had started gathering at Khatushyamji over the last two days. The congregation landed for special pujas at the temple complex at dawn.
As the temple administration opened the gates for darshan, the stampede broke out and three women were killed trampled under fellow devotees feet.
There was chaos in the Khatu Shyam temple premises. Relatives of the devotees started flocking to gather information in the city.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock and grief. “Saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at the Khatu Shyamji Temple complex in Sikar, Rajasthan. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest,” Modi tweeted.
Rajasthan Chief Minster Ashok Gehlot called the incident “unfortunate”, and tweeted: “The death of three women devotees due to stampede in Khatu Shyam ji’s temple in Sikar is very sad and unfortunate. My deepest sympathies are with the bereaved family, may God give them strength to bear this loss and may the departed soul rest in peace.”
He ordered investigation and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 20,000 to the injured from Chief Minister Relief Fund.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said: “The death of many devotees in a stampede at Khatushyam Ji temple in Rajasthan is heart-wrenching. May God rest the departed souls and give strength to the bereaved families to bear this loss. My deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. Praying for speedy recovery of the injured.
“I humbly request all the devotees to exercise restraint and do not rush. Cooperate with the administration in controlling the situation and follow the instructions of the officials.”
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also condoled the loss of lives. Tweeting in Hindi, he said: “The incident of stampede in Khatu Shyamji temple complex of Rajasthan is very unfortunate. My condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones in this incident. I wish a speedy recovery to the devotees who have been injured.”
Bharatiya Janta Party President JP Nadda also expressed his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families.