A day after the worst-ever stampede at the cave shrine, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to ascertain the cause of the tragedy in which 12 pilgrims lost their lives.

Shrine Board is managing the Yatra of the cave shrine situated at an altitude of 5,200 feet in the Reasi district. Lieutenant Governor is chairman of the Board.

He announced additional ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the deceased and sought reasons that led to the first-ever stampede at Bhawan of the shrine that generally attracts close to a million devotees every year.

According to reports, the Chief Executive Officer and members of the Shrine Board members were present in the meeting.

"Chaired a meeting of SMVD Shrine Board. Several decisions have been taken to ensure the safety of pilgrims. Besides Rs 10 lakh announced as an ex-gratia, an additional amount of Rs 5 lakh to be given to the family members of the pilgrims who lost their lives in the unfortunate tragic incident", office of the LG tweeted after the meeting.

LG Manoj Sinha
Lt General Manoj Sinha takes stock of post stampede situation at Mata Vaishno Devi ShrineDIPR J&K

Now, an ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakhs will be given to their families. A total of 12 devotees have lost their lives and 15 were injured in the stampede at the Vaishno Devi shrine on early Saturday morning. Nine of the injured were discharged from the hospital.

LG seeks a detailed report about the reason for the stampede

Sources said that during the meeting, the Lieutenant Governor took stock of the post-stampede situation in the shrine. He gave directions regarding the safety and security of the pilgrims.

Although Jammu and Kashmir Government has already announced a probe into the incident, the Lieutenant Governor sought a detailed report from Shrine Board regarding the cause for the tragedy.

Police to conduct a parallel probe

Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh on Sunday that police probe into the stampede at the Vaishno Devi shrine will go on along with the investigation of a high-powered committee. He said that action will be taken against those involved in the scuffle that led to the incident.

Vaishno Devi Shrine Stampede

"The committee constituted would look into the causes that led to the stampede," he said.

Replying to a question of whether police will take action if those involved in the scuffle were identified, he said that action will be taken against those involved in a scuffle and revealed that police would do its work simultaneously.

He said the government has already set up a three-member committee to inquire into the unfortunate incident which was the result of the irresponsible behaviour of some people.

Probe panel asks people to provide evidence

A day after its constitution, the three-member committee has asked the people to provide evidence related to the Saturday stampede at gate number three of the Bhawan.

Probe panel

"It is for the information of the general public that any person who desires to furnish any facts, statements, electronic evidence, etc, regarding the incident; may share same on the email id: divcomjmu­ jk@n ic.in or Whatsapp- No: 09419202723 or Landline No: 0191-2478996 by or before 05-01-2022", the notice issued by Divisional Commissioner Jammu reads.

"Any person who desires to meet in person, may appear before the said Enquiry Committee in person between 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM on 05-01-2022 in the Office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Rail Head Complex, Panama Chowk; to furnish any statements/ facts/ evidence", the notice reads.

The committee headed by Principal Secretary (Home) Shaleen Kabra, with Divisional Commissioner Jammu Rajiv Langar and Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh as its members, has been set up by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and has been asked to submit a report within a week.