Shrine Board claims on stampede in Vaishno Devi temple, accident did not happen due to mismanagement

Ayupp Fact Check

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Jammu: Twelve people were killed and 16 others injured in a stampede that broke out on New Year's Day at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir due to a huge crowd of devotees. The board said that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairman of the board, was informed about the stampede at 3 am and has been monitoring the situation continuously since then.

The board, in a detailed statement on the tragic incident, said, "The National Green Tribunal has limited the normal travel capacity to 50,000 per day. Keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic, 35000 pilgrims were allowed for the Yatra on 31 December 2021 and 1 January 2022. It said that on January 1, a stampede broke out near gate number three of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan at around 2:15 pm.

The board as well as the Reasi district administration immediately shifted the injured pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayan Superspeciality Hospital after providing first aid at the Medical Unit building for special treatment, the statement said. "The Shrine Board administration in collaboration with the administration of the Union Territory, two of the 12 pilgrims who were killed, were taken by planes and the bodies of nine to their native places by road," the board said. Only one body will be airlifted from GMC tomorrow morning.

He said that out of the injured admitted in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayan Hospital, Kakriyal, nine have been discharged while seven injured are still undergoing treatment there. The statement quoted the Lieutenant Governor as saying, "The Prime Minister has assured all possible help. An ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each will be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to the stampede and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured. The Shrine Board will bear the cost of treatment of the injured.

However, as per many news channels, eyewitnesses of the accident narrated the scene of that time. Many devotees have alleged poor management.

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