Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh said that a minor altercation among some young boys led to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in which 12 people lost their lives.
"The incident occurred around 2:45 am, and as per initial reports, an argument broke out which resulted in people pushing each other, followed by stampede", the DGP said.
The most revered cave shrine is situated at an altitude of 5,200 feet in the Reasi district and generally attracts close to a million devotees every year.
This cave shrine usually witnesses a huge rush of pilgrims on the eve of the new year.
The operations of the pilgrimage site are managed by the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, which provides battery car and ropeway services to the pilgrims to reach the top of Trikuta hills for darshan.
Authorities have so far established the identities of eight deceased and 13 injured. Among the deceased identifies so far, four were natives of Uttar Pradesh, two from Delhi, one from Haryana and one was resident of Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera area of Rajouri district.
List of Deceased
- Dheeraj Kumar,26, son of Tilak Raj of Nowshera Rajouri, J&K
- Shweeta Singh, 35, wife of Vikrant Singh of Ghaziabad, UP
- Dharaminder Singh, 35, Sharanpur, UP
- Vaneet Kumar, 38, son of Vhirampal Singh, Sharanpur UP
- Dr. Arun Partap Singh, 30, son of Sat Prakash Singh, Gorakhpur, UP
- Vinay Kumar, 24, son of Mahesh Chander, Baderpur, Delhi
- Sonu Pandey, 24, son of Narender Pandey, Baderpur, Delhi
- Mamta, 38, wife of Surinder, Jajjar Harayana
Stampede triggered from Gate No 3 of Bhawan
At around 2:15 am, a stampede happened near Gate Number 3 at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Rescue and evacuation operations were immediately launched by the Shrine Board authorities, District Administration, and Police. "A total of 12 pilgrims lost their lives and 15 pilgrims got injured in the incident. Four injured pilgrims have been discharged so far," a statement issued by the Shrine Board said.
List of Injured
- Rishikesh, 23, Male Mumbai, 9967258769
- Sumit, 29, Male Pathankot, Punjab, 8559080512
- Vikas Tiwari, 35, Male, Mumbai, 9967258769
- Ayush, 25, Male, Channi, Jammu, 9070999444
- Kapil, 25, Male Delhi,9070999444
- Nitin Garg, 30, Male Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan,8875001843
- Unknown, 35, Male 9070999444
- Kiran,18, Female Haryana, 8494004240 (Discharged)
- Ashish Kumar Jais, 25, Male Prayag Raj, UP, 9956241055 (Discharged)
- Bhawar Lal Patida, 47, Male Mandsur, MP, 8898276077
- Sahil Kumar, 22, Male R.S Pura Jammu, 9055016972
- Unknown, 25, Female 9070999444
- Adhaya Mahajan16, Male, Channi Himmat, Jammu, 9419182236
- Prashant Hada,30, Male Jaipur, Rajasthan, 723000531
- Sarita, 42, Female Delhi, 9070999444
As per the Shrine Board's statement, the dead bodies of the deceased have been shifted to Community Health Centres in Katra for further legal formalities.
The injured pilgrims were provided first aid at Medical Unit Bhawan and subsequently shifted to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Super Specialty Hospital, Kakryal for specialized treatment.
The Shrine board also announced that the cost of all the treatment will be borne by them.
Shrine Board sets up helplines
For the information of the devotees, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has established a dedicated helpline, which can be approached at Phone No. 01991234804 and 01991234053. The helplines established by the District Administration are, PCR Katra 01991-232010/ 9419145182, PCR Reasi 01991245076/ 9622856295; DC Reasi Control Room 01991-245763/ 9419839557.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of those who died and Rs two lakh for the injured.
Deeply shocked to hear the news of stampede in Vaishnodevi shrine causing tragic death of 12 pilgrims injuring many more.— Ghulam Nabi Azad (@ghulamnazad) January 1, 2022
"My heart goes out for the families who have lost their near and dear ones in this tragic incident"
I demand immediate action for treatment of the injured.
Spoke to Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. Briefed him about the incident. Hon'ble Prime Minister has assured all the help.— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) January 1, 2022