12 dead, 13 injured in stampede at Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu & Kashmirtext_fields
Jammu: At least 12 people were killed and 13 others injured in a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir's Katra early on Saturday.
The incident occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on Trikuta hills.
"12 dead, 13 injured in the stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Katra. 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 a stampede," news agency ANI quoted J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh as saying.
The officials added that "large groups of devotees reportedly entered the Bhawan without permission slips."
The yatra (pilgrimage) to the holy shrine has been suspended after the incident.
"Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sending his "condolences to the bereaved families."
The Prime Minister's Office also announced an amount of ₹ 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. The PMO said that the amount would be given to the families of those who lost their lives because of the stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. The injured would be given ₹50,000, the PM's Office added.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office said that PM Narendra Modi is "personally monitoring and keeping track of the tragic situation arising out of a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine."
He further stated that PM Modi has "conveyed his sympathies to bereaved families and issued instructions to provide all possible medical aid & assistance to the injured."
Senior officials and representatives from the shrine board are at the spot.
Senior officials have confirmed that 12 pilgrims have died dead and at least 14 others are injured in the stampede. "All the injured have been taken to a hospital," they added.
The condition of many of the injured is said to be "serious", the official said.