Chhath devotees blame poor arrangement at ghat for stampede

Chhat puja

Chhath worshippers, who are still under a shock following the stampede at Adalatghat on the bank of the Ganga in which 17 persons lost their lives, blamed the district administration for "poor arrangement".

Prem Kumar, a worshipper, said there was an inadequate arrangement to accommodate the large crowd of devotees that throng the ghat which had never witnessed a tragedy like this.

Jaiprakash Bharti of Bhojpur district, who had come with his family to offer obeisance to the Sun God during the Chhath festival, said the narrow pathway between the Adalatghat and the road outside were to blame for the stampede.

"The pathway should be broadened into a road by next year if a stampede of this scale needs to be prevented," Bharti said.

The usual bustle was missing in the morning at the Adalatghat with most of the worshippers outside Patna preferring not to visit the ghat and paid their obeisance elsewhere.

An aged woman, Nita Devi, blamed inadequate security arrangement at the Adalatghat to manage the swelling crowd.

The stampede occurred after the worshippers, mostly women and children, began to run for their lives after word spread that the narrow pontoon bridge had been electrocuted, which turned to be false.

Kumar said he was fortunate to survive the tragedy as he chose to stay away from the ghat 10 minutes before the stampede occurred.

A Patna resident Amit Kumar said he was so traumatised after watching the scene at the Adalatghat that he did not take his children out this morning.

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