Junagadh (Gujarat), Feb.20 (ANI): Gujarat's Cooperative and Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani on Monday visited injured survivors of Sunday's stampede in Junagadh, and said that Chief Minister Narendra Modi has ordered an inquiry into the tragedy.
The stampede near the Bhavnath Temple claimed the lives of six to eight people and injured 12 others on the eve of the Mahashivratri festival.
The mishap took place after two vehicles blocked the entrance to the temple fair grounds.
Sanghani, inspected the site and expressed his condolences to family members of those who had lost their kin.
"The state government and the chief minister have expressed condolences to the victims of this mishap. The honourable chief minister has ordered a probe by a senior official and also announced a relief package of 1 lakh rupees (100 thousands rupees) to the victims' family," said Sanghani.
Tens of thousands of people had assembled at the event, which would conclude on Monday. The dead comprised of women, children and men. The condition of some of them is serious and they are being attended to in nearby hospitals.
Remembering the unfortunate incident, Ambali Bhai Patel, one of the injured, said that he had lost his wife in the stampede.
"I had come in the fair as the part of celebrations of Mahashivaratri. My wife and I both lost our balance at the time of stampede. I admitted her to the civil hospital where she was declared as brought dead," said Patel.
Police personnel and the ambulance service faced problems as they found it difficult to reach the stampede site because of the massive crowd and it led to a delay in rescue operations.
Condemning the incident, several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders announced that they would not take part in temple festivities as they paid homage to the victims.
Mahashivratri falls during the dark half of the month of Magh. A day of strict fasting accompanied by Lord Shiva's worship and vigil precedes the festival. Devotees rejoice and feast after they break the fast. It is regarded as an extremely auspicious festival.
The festival celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati, and is of great importance to the Hindus. (ANI)
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