Nineteen people were killed and many were injured in Varanasi stampede at a religious gathering on Saturday.The stampede happened when thousands of devotees of a religious leader tried to cross a bridge at once.
The incident took place when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp, police said.
At least 60 people were injured and five of them are stated to be in a serious condition, District Magistrate Chandauli, Kumar Prashant said.Senior officials of police and administration have rushed to the spot to carry out relief and rescue measures.
“They had sought permission for 5,000 persons but many more people reached and joined the procession. We are investigating crowd management and will take action against those responsible,” police chief Mr Javeed Ahmed said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in parliament, said he had asked officials to ensure all possible help.
PM Modi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have each announced Rs. 2 lakh for the families of the dead. The UP government also announced Rs 50,000 each for those critically injured.
Baba Jai Gurudev or Tulsidas died in 2012. At the time of his death, he was claimed to be 116 years old. The baba had amassed huge wealth during his lifetime. He is reported to have been an influential figure, even floating a party called Doordarshi Party. After his death in 2012, Pankaj Yadav succeeded him. But not everyone was happy with the succession. Most of his followers belong to the lower castes.