PATNA: Eleven people including 9 children were killed in Bihar during the Chhath festival on Saturday evening.
Two children including a 16-month-old baby girl were killed in a stamped that broke out near the Sun temple at Deo area in Aurangabad district when devotees were returning after offering puja ('Arghya') to the setting sun. The deceased were Prince Kumar, aged 4, from Bhojpur’s Sahar and eight-year-old Rinki Kumari of Bihata.
Seema Devi and Manisha Kumari, the respective mothers of the minors killed in the stampede, were
also injured and admitted at a local hospital.
The district administration has started a probe into the stampede.
As per tradition, thousands of devotees from far-flung areas gather at a big pond, near the famous sun temple, every year to offer prayers to the sun god.
In another incident, a 14-year-old boy drowned in the river Gandak during the evening chhatha at Lalganj in Vaishali district of Bihar.
In Lakhisarai, two more children had drowned on Saturday during the chhatha.
Similarly, two children in Munger, two in Khagaria and one boy in Vaishali drowned while they were taking baths in ponds during the Chhatha on Saturday evening.
On Sunday morning, two devotees were killed when the wall of an old Kali temple in Bihar's Samastipur district caved in. Their bodies were extracted from the debris by SDRF personnel.
Chhath Puja marked with rigorous rituals is observed over a period of four days during which devotees fast and abstain from drinking water stand in water for long periods of time and offer prasad prayer offerings and 'arghya' to the setting and rising Sun.
On the fourth and final day of the Chhath Puja, devotees in different parts of India thronged river banks to offer 'Arghya' to the rising sun on Sunday.
Chhath Puja, dedicated to the Sun god, is celebrated on the sixth day Kartik month of Hindu calendar.
On the fourth and final day of 'Mahaparv', Usha Arghya is performed in which devotees offer various fruits and vegetables to the Sun God along with an offering of holy water. It is after this the Chhath fast culminates and the 'prasad' is distributed among family and friends.
(With agency inputs)