Three women died and several other devotees were injured in a stampede at the famous Khatu Shyam temple in Rajasthan’s Sikar district. The stampede occurred early on Monday, during a rush of pilgrims when the temple’s entrance doors were about to open during a monthly fair.
It was Ekadashi on Monday which is considered auspicious to visit Khatushyamji and thus gathers a large number of devotees. More than 1 lakh devotees had gathered outside the temple to mark the Ekadashi since Sunday evening. At around 5.15 in the morning, when the gates of the temple were closed and were about to open for the aarti, the pressure increased near the door and the scuffle started.
Meanwhile, when the doors got open, the crowd became uncontrollable and people started pushing. During this, many devotees fell in which three women devotees died and more than 12 people were injured, including women and children. The police personnel and the guard of the temple committee rushed to the spot to control the situation.
Chaos prevailed on the temple premises after the incident in the early morning, as the people kept trying to get information about each other. The injured were rushed to the primary health center situated outside the temple. Of them, three women were declared dead while the other injured were shifted to Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur for treatment. One deceased has been identified while efforts are being made to identify the other two deceased.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condoled the death of the three women devotees and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the stampede. The CM has given instructions to give Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the dead and Rs 20,000 to the injured from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the Khatushyamji accident tweeting, “I am saddened by the death of people in the stampede in Khatu Shyamji temple premises. My condolences are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who have been injured get well soon.”
An investigation into the incident is still going on.CCTV footage is being examined for better clarity on the incident. An action against the guilty would be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
The Khatu Shyam temple is considered to be an important pilgrimage destination in Rajasthan. During the month of Shravan on every Ekadashi, many devotees gather for the fair of Lord Khatu Shyamji. Lakhs of devotees from Rajasthan and all across gather outside the temple to offer prayers on the occasion of Ekadashi.