इंडियन आवाज़     24 Feb 2024 11:09:29      انڈین آواز

27 killed in stampede at Pushkaralu festival in Andhra Pradesh

At least 27 14 killed in stampede at Pushkaralu festival in Andhra Pradeshpilgrims, 13 of them women, died and 20 others injured in a stampede at a major bathing spot on the banks of the Godavari river in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, where a huge crowd of devotees had gathered on the opening day of ‘Pushkaram’ festival today. A major religious event held once in 12 years, hundreds of people drawn from different parts of the state had converged on the river bank to take a dip in the river on the auspicious occasion. The tragedy struck between 7.30 AM and 8 AM and most of the victims were elderly people.

Rajahmundry Sub-Collector Vijaya Ramaraju said the bodies had been shifted to Rajahmundry Government Hospital and the injured taken to a nearby hospital.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who was on the spot to take the holy dip, expressed profound grief at the tragedy and is personally monitoring relief and rescue operations. The Chief Minister also announced an ex-gratia of 10 lakh rupees for the family of the deceased and said, if necessary, he would remain in Rajahmundry for the next 11 days.

The ‘Pushakaram’ is similar to the ‘Kumbh Mela’ performed alongside rivers elsewhere in the country and taking holy dip is the main ritual of the religious event.

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