Two devotees were killed and some others received injuries after they were hit by shooting stones near the cave of Shiv Khori shrine in the Pouni area of Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Deputy Commissioner Reasi Babila Rakwal informed that two pilgrims have lost their lives after being hit by shooting stones near the famous cave shrine.
The deceased have been identified as Sarwan Soni (45) son of Ram Soni, resident of Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, and Nirmal Singh (17) son of Ranjeet Singh, resident of Rajouri district, Jammu division.
Deputy Commissioner Reasi with senior police and civil officers has rushed to the spot to supervise the relief and rescue operations at the cave shrine.
Initial reports said that devotees were standing in queues waiting for their turn to have darshan inside the cave shrine when they were hit by shooting stones.
Unconfirmed reports said that some devotees received minor injuries due to the stampede that followed the incident. Cops deployed at the shrine immediately swung into action and controlled the fear-stricken devotees and avoided a stampede.
"Saddened to receive the news of two pilgrims, on the way to Shiv Khori shrine, unfortunately, killed by a shooting stone. Have spoken to DC Reasi, Smt Babila Rakwal. One injured pilgrim shifted to hospital. All possible assistance is being provided", Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, who is also a Lok Sabha member from this area, tweeted after the incident.
Heavy rush of devotees due to last Monday of Sawan month
As today was the last Monday of the ongoing Sawan month, there was a huge rush of devotees at the cave shrine of Lord Shiva.
The fourth and last Sawan Monday falls on August 8, 2022, Lord Shiva's devotees believe that Monday in Sawan is the finest day to pay homage to him. Fasting on this day and doing "Rudrabhishek" with sincerity is considered complete bliss.
Hundreds of devotees from different parts of the country were gathered to perform "Rudrabhishek" of Lord Shiva last Monday to rid the body of sickness and rid the world of its imperfections.
The last Monday of Sawan is considered a very auspicious occasion due to the high number of coincidences that occur on this day.
Importance of this cave shrine
The cave shrine of Shiv Khori is situated in the Reasi district of the Jammu division. It is believed that Lord Shiva had burnt Bhasmasura in Shiv Khori. The cave has rock paintings in the form of Shivling and other rare idols. This place is the centre of the faith of Lord Shiva's devotees. It is also called the home of Lord Shiva.
As this shrine is situated near the famous revered shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, many devotees who come for the Darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi also reach Shiv Khori to have the Darshan of Lord Shiva.