Be it inadequate arrangements for crowd control or rumour of a bridge collapsing, stampedes have time and again become a part of major religious festivals. Here is an account of many such incidents over the years.
October 3, 2014
33 people were killed and more than 100 seriously injured in a stampede that broke out at Gandhi Maidan here shortly after the Dussehra celebrations ended. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned `2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. The Bihar government began investigations into the incident.
August 25, 2014
As many as 10 persons were killed and 30 were injured in a stampede that broke out when devotees were circumambulating Kamatgiri Temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district. The rope barriers that were set up to regulate the movement of pilgrims collapsed resulting in the stampede, police said.
Jan 18, 2014
18 people were killed and 40 others injured when members of the Dawoodi Bohra community gathered outside the residence of late community leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin to pay their last respects to him here on Saturday. The tragedy was accentuated by the narrow by-lanes of Malabar Hill and lack of police presence for crowd management.
October 13, 2013
115 pilgrims, including 47 women and 33 children were killed in a horrific stampede at a Durga temple in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. The tragedy was sparked off by rumours that the bridge on Sindh River - through which pilgrims were heading towards temple - was collapsing. While scores of pilgrims were trampled, others were drowned after jumping into the swollen river.
February 10, 2013
37 pilgrims killed and scores injured in a stampede at a railway station in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad. The stampede had occurred at the Allahabad Railway Station when thousands of passengers, mostly Maha Kumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, had gathered to board a train.
November 19, 2012
18 killed and several injured in a stampede on a bridge over the Ganga River during Chhath Puja in Patna, Bihar. The incident occurred when a temporary bridge built over the Ganga for the convenience of devotees collapsed partially. Many people fell off the bridge, leading to the stampede.
Feb 20, 2012
7 killed and 29 injured in a in a stampede that broke out on Sunday night at Bhavnath temple's annual Mahashivratri fair in the foothills of Mount Girnar in Gujarat's Junagadh district. The mishap occurred on the narrow Panjanka bridge that connects Junagadh city to Bhavnath temple when two state transport buses coming from opposite directions broke down while crossing the bridge.
January 14, 2012
10 people were killed when a stampede broke out in Hussain Tekri near Jaora town in the district on the occasion of Chehlum. The stamped broke out when a huge crowd gathered at Hussain Tekri's main entry to take part in Chehlum were pushed backward by the police to regulate their entry after midnight.
November 8, 2011
20 people, mostly women, were killed and several others injured in a stampede during a religious ceremony attended by tens of thousands of devotees near Har Ki Pauri at Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The stampede occurred when people tried to enter the yajnashala at Chandidweep Ghat on the banks of Ganga for the centenary celebrations of Acharya Pt Shriram Sharma, the founder of Shatikunj Ashram.
January 14, 2011
104 pilgrims died on Makara Jyothi Day at Sabarimala in Kerala. A quarrel broke out between auto and jeep drivers. The argument turned ugly when some angry pilgrims smashed the windscreens of the jeeps, leading to panic among the crowd and a stampede, the report said.
October 17, 2010
Ten persons were killed and 16 were injured in a stampede that broke out during a ritual at a Durga temple in Bihar's Banka district on the occasion of 'Navratri' festival. The stampede occurred when more than 45,000 devotees had thronged the temple and the stampede broke out after rumours spread that a portion of the temple had collapsed.
March 4, 2010
63 people, mostly women and children, killed in a stampede at a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh. The stampede broke out at the ashram of Swami Kripalu Maharaj located in Mangarh village after a portion of the entrance gate collapsed under the pressure of the surging crowd.
January 14, 2010
Seven pilgrims were killed and nine injured when a stampede broke out at the Gangasagar mela in South 24 Parganas district. Around four lakh pilgrims had gathered to take a holy dip at the confluence of Ganga and the Bay of Bengal in Gangasagar islands on the occasion of 'Makar Sankranti' when the stampede took place.
September 30, 2008
More than 249 devotees were killed in a stampede at the Chamunda Devi Temple in the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort on a hillock at Jodhpur in Rajasthan on the first day of Navaratri festival. Different versions cropped up over the reason for the stampede with one being that there was a scramble on the narrow 2-km path for gaining entry to the hillock shrine in the fort run by the family of erstwhile ruler Gaj Singh.
August 3, 2008
162 persons were killed and nearly 400 people injured in a stampede in the Naina Devi shrine in Himachal Pradesh. Overcrowding coupled with rumours of rockslides triggered the stampede. at the hill-top Naina Devi temple. Suddenly, the rumour of landslide spread and pilgrims in panic started rushing out of the complex.
October 14, 2007
Eleven people were killed and at least 30 injured eight of them seriously, in a stampede on the Pavagadh hills, about 50 km from Vadodara in the Panchamahals district of central Gujarat.The stampede was reportedly caused by an unprecedented rush of devotees for a 'darshan' of the famous Mahakali temple atop the hill due to the on-going 'Navratri' festivals.
January 25, 2005
300 people died following the stampede at the Mandhardevi temple at Wai (Satara), Maharashtra. A majority of the victims died of suffocation and the rest due to electrocution from a short circuit.'The incident occurred as some people who were going in came into the exit path,' dismissing that a short circuit led to the rush.
August 27, 2003
39 people, including 26 women, were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede in Nashik Kumbh Mela in Nashik. Over 30,000 pilgrims were being held back by barricades in a narrow street leading to the Ramkund, a holy spot, so that the sadhus could take the ceremonial dip first. It is said that a sadhu threw some silver coins into the crowd, and the scramble for the coins led to the stampede.
January 14, 1999
A major tragedy struck the famed Makara Vilakku festival at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala when 53 devotees of Lord Ayyappa were killed and 102 people injured in a stampede.
June 7, 1997
39 people were killed and more than 200 sustained burn injuries in a devastating fire that swept across the Yagasala Pandal at the Brahadeeswarar (Big) temple at the Brahadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur.Inflammable materials like ghee, condiments and thatched roofs helped the fire spread fast.
July 15, 1996
Thirty nine people died and 42 were injured in a stampede at the Mahakaleshwar temple here on Somawati Amavasya or the first Monday of Sawan, the rainy season. The incident occurred at 5 AM on Monday when around 20 thousand devotees of Lord Shiva queued up outside the temple to offer puja. At Hardwar in Uttar Pradesh 21 people were killed and 30 injured while passing through a bridge for the holy dip in the Ganga around 06-00 hours at Gau Ghat near Har-ki-Pauri.
February 18, 1992
For the more than 40 lakh people who had gathered at the temple town of Kumbakonam for the once-in-12-years religious festival, the arrangements were hellish. The unfortunate deaths occurred when pilgrims rushed forth to view J Jayalalitha, a brahmin and a devout Hindu, who was taking her sacred bath.
February 3, 1954
800 persons were killed and 100 injured in a stampede occurred during Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. About 200 square yards of the sandy bank of the Ganga were strewn with bodies of the dead and injured.