New Delhi, Oct 4: The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has expressed deep sorrow and shock at the loss of lives of pilgrims who died in a stampede during religious festivities in Ratangarh, Madhya Pradesh.
Dr. Singh extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the incident and asked the administration to provide medical assistance to the injured.
“On this day of festivities, our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” he added.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Ratangarh temple stampede in Datia district has risen to 109.
The stampede was triggered by rumours that the river bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse.
“Some people spread a rumour that the bridge was falling. Their objective was to reach the temple quickly. They were unable to go due to a massive crowd. This led to the stampede,” said Deputy Inspector General Dilip Kumar Arya.
The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the untoward incident in which more than 100 people were injured on the bridge over Sindh River near Ratangarh temple.
Survivors alleged that some people spread the rumour that the bridge was on the verge of collapse, resulting in panic.
“My mother is dead and six people from my village were also killed. People were leaving from both exits after worshipping the Goddess. Suddenly, police arrived. They began shouting that the bridge had broken and they charged the devotees with batons,” said Vipul Pathak, a man who lost his mother in the incident. (ANI)