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Day after stampede, Jodhpur temple opens for devotees

October 01, 2008 13:37 IST

A day after nearly 150 people were killed in the stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur [Images], the shrine on Wednesday opened for devotees but their numbers were few. Authorities also beefed up the police presence along the two-km route to it in the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.

From the thousands who had gathered to offer prayers at the temple on the first day of Navaratri festival on Tuesday, their number this morning was reduced to just a few, officials said.

Jodhpur: 140 killed in temple stampede

With the authorities taking no chances, more than 100 police personnel have been deployed along the route to the temple,  located in the 15th century fort.

"The devout are visiting the temple but it is different from what it was on Tuesday before the tragedy struck. It was like a mela and now is deserted," they said.

Over 55 persons, who sustained injuries in the stampede, are being treated in various hospitals, they said.

When holy chants turned into wails

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasudhara Raje, who had visited the stampede site on Tuesday, has ordered a judicial probe into the incident. The trampling had been apparently caused by a rush of devotees as the doors of the temple were opened for worship at dawn.

The casualties occurred in the queue meant for men while that for the women and children was unaffected, the officials said. A retired judge of the Rajasthan High Court would conduct the probe and submit his report in three months, an official announcement has said in Jaipur [Images].

According to a senior state government official, most of the bodies, which were handed over to the relatives without post mortem being carried out, have been cremated.

The list of the dead has been put on notice boards of concerned hospitals and police stations, he said, adding that two of the injured were in serious condition.

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