Two dead and several injured in stampede at Mathura temple

The incident happened during Janmashtami celebrations at the iconic Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan

The incident happened during Janmashtami celebrations at the iconic Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan

Two devotees were killed and several others were injured due to overcrowding at a temple in Mathura during Janmashtami celebrations late Friday night, August 19, 2022.

Eyewitnesses said the incident happened at the iconic Banke Bihari Mandir in the district’s Vrindavan town when a sea of ​​devotees showed up to witness the traditional mangalaaarti, which takes place once a year.

Police sources said the deceased was identified as Nirmala Devi from Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ram Prasad Vishwakarma from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

The incident led to a question mark over the arrangement as most senior district officials were present at the temple premises. The Banke Bihari temple is known to attract thousands of devotees during Janmashtami celebrations, which leads to overcrowding not only in the temple premises but also in the narrow alleys that lead to the temple.

Abhishek Yadav, SSP, Mathura told reporters that the incident happened when some worshipers fainted due to suffocation caused by overcrowding. “It caused a commotion in which two people died and several others were injured.”

However, some temple sevadars (volunteers) claimed that officials remained busy making way for VIPs and their families, which led to a stampede at gates 1 and 4 of the temple.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was in Mathura and Vrindavan earlier in the day to participate in the celebrations, expressed his sorrow over the incident and ordered officials to take necessary measures for the treatment of the injured.

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