At least 116 people were killed and scores injured in a stampede during a religious gathering in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district on Tuesday evening. In a village in Hathras district, a large crowd had gathered for a sermon by a famous preacher. Narayan Sakar Hari aka ‘Bhole Baba’.

Relatives mourn with the bodies of their relatives outside Sikandar Rao Hospital in Hathras district, about 350 kilometers southwest of Lucknow, India, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AP)

“Participants were coming out of the venue when a dust storm blinded their vision, leading to commotion and the aftermath,” Chitra V, divisional commissioner of Aligarh city in Uttar Pradesh state, told AFP. A sad incident happened.”

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An eyewitness, however, said that a rush among Bhole Baba’s followers to collect the “raj” (dust) over which the preacher’s car passed while leaving the venue was the cause of the stampede.

Many people were crushed or trampled by the chaos, some fell into drains on the side of the road. Lines of ambulances rushed the injured to hospital. Outside a mortuary in the town of Eta, where many of the dead were taken, weeping women and weeping men gathered to hear news of their relatives.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed condolences and directed district officials to ensure immediate medical assistance to the injured and speed up rescue operations at the scene.

Did suffocation lead to stampede in Hathras? What the police, eyewitnesses say.

Fatal incidents at religious gatherings are unfortunately common in India, often due to poor crowd management and safety lapses. In 2016, a massive explosion at a temple in Kerala killed 112 people after a display of banned fireworks. In 2013, 115 people were killed in a stampede on a bridge near a temple in Madhya Pradesh. In 2008, a stampede at a hill temple in Jodhpur left 224 pilgrims dead and over 400 injured.

Here is a list of major stampedes in India over the years, most of them during religious festivals or gatherings:

January 2005: Over 340 devotees were trampled and hundreds injured during the annual pilgrimage to the Mandhar Devi temple in Maharashtra’s Satara district. The stampede was caused by the slippery steps leading to the temple.

August 2008: Around 145 Hindu pilgrims are killed in a stampede at the hilltop Neena Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh amid rumors of a landslide.

September 2008: A total of 224 people were trampled to death at the Chamanda Devi temple in Rajasthan during the Navratri festival. The stampede followed a rumor of a bomb blast at a temple in the city of Jodhpur.

March 2010: At least 63 people, more than half of them children, die in a stampede at a Hindu temple in Uttar Pradesh sparked by a stampede for free food and clothes by a self-styled deity. gone.

January 2011: At least 104 Sabarimala devotees were killed and over 40 injured in a stampede when a jeep rammed into pilgrims on their way home at Palmedu in Kerala’s Idukki district.

November 2011: At least 20 people were killed in a stampede at the Harkipoori ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar.

February 2013: At least 36 Hindu pilgrims are killed in a stampede on the busiest day of the Kumbh Mela, a huge gathering in Uttar Pradesh that draws more than 100 million pilgrims over the course of two months.

November 2013: At least 115 people were killed and over a hundred injured in a stampede during Navratri celebrations at the Ratangarh temple in Madhya Pradesh.

January 2022: At least 12 people were killed and more injured in a stampede at the Vishnu Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir when a large crowd of devotees tried to enter the cramped shrine.

With input from bureaus and agencies

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