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Rs 15-cr aid for Satara temple: Pawar
Vijay Singh in Satar | January 26, 2005 20:01 IST
Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar visited the stampede site near the Mandhra Devi temple in Maharashtra's Satara district on Wednesday.
He announced Rs 15-crore assistance for development of the temple, located on a hill in Wai.
The stampede occurred during the annual Mandhra Devi Yatra.
"I have talked to the prime minister and he has agreed to provide funds for making the temple safe for devotees," Pawar told reporters.
Those whose shops were gutted would also receive central aid, the minister said.
Initial reports indicated that slippery stairs led to the tragedy, he added.
Pawar said the huge gathering of devotees was a result of the temple becoming popular, thanks to a movie made on the Goddess.
"About one lakh devotees had came to the temple after seeing the movie," he claimed.
Also, for many, Tuesday, being Poornima, was an auspicious day. There were also hordes of devotees who wanted to thank the Goddess for the good monsoon this year, he said.
He said the police had not expected such large number of devotees.
"Now the police must arrest those responsible for destroying property," he added.
With PTI inputs
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