The stampede occurred near gate number three outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills.

At least 12 people were killed and 20 others injured in a stampede at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir triggered by a heavy rush of devotees, officials said on Saturday. January 1, 2022.

The stampede occurred near gate number three outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills.

Also read: 91 die as rumours spark stampede in MP temple

The stampede was triggered by a heavy rush of devotees who have come to pay their obeisance to mark the beginning of the New Year, the officials said.

Bodies of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine stampede victims being taken to a Community Health Centre at Katra, in Reasi district, Saturday morning, January 1, 2022.  | Photo Credit: PTIq

 

Senior officials and shrine board representatives are on the spot.

Officials said 12 people died in the stampede and their bodies have been removed to a hospital in the Katra base camp for identification and other legal formalities.

Also read: Haj stampede claims over 700 lives near holy city

Twenty more people were injured and majority of them are undergoing treatment at Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, the officials said, adding that the condition of four of the injured was stated to be "critical".

The officials said the shrine was open and devotees were paying obeisance till last reports came in.

Also read: List of major stampedes at temples, other religious gatherings in India

PM, Shah, Rahul, condole loss of lives

Condoling the deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to the stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. The injured would be given ₹50,000, Mr. Modi said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he was deeply pained by the tragic accident at Mata Vaishno Devi temple and spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha who assured that the administration is providing treatment to the injured.

"Deeply pained by the tragic accident at Mata Vaishno Devi temple. In this regard, I have spoken to Lieutenant Governor of J&K Shri Manoj Sinha. The administration is working continuously to provide treatment to the injured. I express my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this accident," Mr. Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi mourned the deaths in a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.

"The stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi temple is tragic. I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased," Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal expressed grief over the tragedy.

"Extremely sorry to know about this incident at Mata Vaishno Devi temple premises. My sympathies to kin of the dead. I pray to the god for speedy recovery of all the injured," Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet.

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