20 die in Hardwar stampede

20 die in Hardwar stampede

At least 32 people were also injured in the stampede that broke out when people tried to enter the ‘yajnashala’(place of sacred fire ceremony) at Chandidweep Ghat for the birth centenary celebrations of Acharya Pandit Shriram Sharma.

The Acharya, a saint-scholar-philosopher, was the founder of Shantikunj Ashram and also the founding father of ‘Akhil Vishwa Gayatri Pariwar’ which has a huge following.
SDM Harbir Singh said 16 people were killed in the stampede in this popular pilgrim town in the hill state of Uttarakhand.

“It appears that suffocation in the area led to the stampede but the exact cause will be known only after an inquiry,” he said. Most of the dead were reported to be elderly people.

District Magistrate Senthil Pandian ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.
Eyewitnesses said the stampede in this holy town occurred at around 10:30 am when a few people tripped while those behind continued to push forward after devotees had gathered to proceed to the fireplace at the ashram to make offerings.

The devotees were climbing stairs to cross a mini bridge ahead of the venue for the religious ceremony ‘Gayatri Mahayagya’, a male survivor said.

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