Three women were killed and four other pilgrims were injured in a stampede at the famous Khatu Shyam temple in Rajasthan's Sikar district early on Monday. The stampede occurred during a rush of pilgrims when the temple's entrance doors were opened during a monthly fair.
A 63-year-old woman suffering from heart ailment, standing in one of the queues to have a darshan of the deity on the auspicious Ekadasi day, fell down when the temple opened. Two women standing behind her also collapsed, leading to the stampede. The three women were trampled by fellow devotees.
The deceased were identified as Shanti from Haryana's Hisar, Maya Devi from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras and Kripa Devi from Mansarovar locality in Jaipur. One of the injured was shifted to the Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital in Jaipur, while others were discharged after treatment at a primary health centre situated outside the temple.
Chaos prevailed on the temple premises after the incident in the early morning, as the people kept trying to get information about each other. The huge crowd of devotees had gathered outside the temple over the last two days for special puja on Ekadasi. The Khatu Shyam temple is considered to be an important pilgrim destination in Rajasthan.
The Station House Officer of the Khatu Shyam police station, Riya Chaudhary, was suspended on charges of negligence in handling the situation on the temple premises. The State government has ordered an inquiry into the incident by the Jaipur Divisional Commissioner and announced an ex gratia of ₹5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹20,000 each to those injured.
The financial assistance will be given from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condoled the death of the three women devotees and wished a speedy recovery of those injured in the stampede.