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At least 39 killed in Kumbh stampede

August 27, 2003 14:30 IST
Last Updated: August 28, 2003 00:45 IST

At least 39 people, including 26 women, were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede in Nashik Kumbh on Wednesday afternoon.

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Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was in Nashik, said the stampede occurred when some devotees broke barricades to reach the river.

Police Commissioner P T Lohar, however, said after the 'Shahi Snan' by sadhus and mahants, there was a surge of pilgrims towards Ramkund, where all Shahi Snans (royal baths) take place. The stampede happened when some Sadhus threw coins into the crowd, he said.

Wednesday's was the second Shahi Snan of the Kumbh Mela in Nashik.

The injured were rushed to the Nashik Civil Hospital, Panchvati Hospital (0253-2518090) and the Indira Gandhi Hospital (0253-2621331).

An estimated 50 lakh people were in Nashik on Wednesday to take a holy dip in the Godavri river.

The narrow roads that lead to the Ramkund were bursting at seams.

A report said the stampede took place at the Sardar Chowk.

Bhujbal said a magisterial inquiry has been instituted into the incident.

A majority of those killed were from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the state administration sources said.

Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said no post-mortems will be conducted on those killed in the stampede.

He said the state government will also bear the cost of transportation of the bodies, if so demanded by the kin of the deceased.

Terming as incident as tragic, he said: "I was pained to hear about it."

Nashik Kumbh: The Complete Coverage



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