Thousands of people tried to enter the theatre to watch cultural programmes as a part of Mandar Mela at a time resulting in the stampede leaving three dead and 12 injured.

Three persons were killed and 12 others injured, some of them seriously, in a stampede as a crowd jostled to enter into a theatre to watch cultural functions on Makar Shankranti day in Bihar’s Banka district, a senior police officer said.

Thousands of people tried to enter the theatre at Bhonsi police station area at a time resulting in the stampede leading to the death of three last night. Twelve others were injured, Superintendent of Police Pushkar Anand said.

One of the deceased has been identified as Anil Kumar Mandal, resident of Samukhiya village while two other unidentified persons died on way to hospital to Bhagalpur, the SP said.

The SP said that theatre showing dance and song programme on the occasion of the annual ‘Mandar Mela’ event has been closed and an FIR lodged against its owner.

Mr. Anand said two ASI (Assistant Sub Inspector) and 10 constables of Bhonsi police station have been suspended in the wake of the stampede and death and injuries.

The Mandar mela is an annual feature in the area during Makarsankranti.