Shiv Ratri puja: Two killed in stampede at Shiva temple in Barabanki

Stampede
At least two persons were today killed and 12 injured in a stampede at a Shiva temple where thousands of devotees had lined up to pay obeisance on the occasion of Shivratri.

The incident occurred in the wee hours at Lodeshwar Mahadev Temple when the barricades collapsed due to the heavy rush of devotees, including 'kanwarias', who had gathered to offer holy water at 'shivling'.

Two men -- Rampal Singh (25) and Haribhan Singh (22) from Kanpur were killed in the incident, police said.

12 people were injured and admitted to hospital, sources said, adding four of them were stated to be critical.

DIG Faizabad Piyush Mordia after inspecting the site said that the incident took place due to breach in barricading. He said that a probe has been ordered into the incident.

Exactly a month ago, 38 people had lost their lives in a stampede in the Allahabad railway station in the state on Mauni Amavasya during the Mahakumbh.

Uttar Pradesh government will provide financial help to the victims, national general secretary of the ruling Samjwadi Party Ramashray Kushwaha said.

He said a large number of people had gathered at the temple on the occasion of Shivratri. "If a slight disturbance occurs, people get panicky and start running and so two persons lost their lives," he said.

Barabanki is located about 29 km from state capital Lucknow.

BJP state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai and Congress unit chief Nirmal Khatri expressed grief over the loss of lives.

BJP chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak questioned why the government was not taking lesson from the past incidents.

Pathak alleged that the state government did not make proper arrangement for Kanwar yatra.

"When the administration was aware that around five to eight lakh people visit Lodheshwar temple to offer water on the occasion of Shivratri, why proper arrangements were not made," he said.

He demanded that a high level inquiry be conducted into Barabanki incident and Rs 25 lakh financial assistance given to the kin of those killed.

Pathak alleged that pilgrims lost their lives in Barabanki due to administrative laxity as was the case in stampede at Allahabad railway station.

The spokesman alleged that a similar incident occurred at Taneshwar temple in Sant Kabir Nagar.

The BJP leader said that immediate action should be taken against officials found prima facie responsible for negligence.

Police said that one of of the injured Anup Mishra having serious injuries has been referred to trauma centre at Lucknow.

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