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At God's abodes, nearly 1,000 died in stampedes

New Delhi: In a startling bit of statistics, nearly 1,000 lives were lost in stampedes at temples and other religious places in India in the last decade.

Before today's stampede at an ashram in Haridwar which claimed 16 lives, there was a huge melee at the famed Sabarimala shrine in Kerala that killed more than 104 devotees on 14 January this year.

 At Gods abodes, nearly 1,000 died in stampedes

Onlookers stand at the site of a stampede at Pulmedu in Kerala on 15 January 2011. A stampede sparked by a night-time road accident in dense forest killed more than 100 pilgrims. Reuters

More than 60 people were also injured in the stampede which happened when a jeep crashed into home-bound pilgrims at Pulmedu, a remote area in Kerala's Idukki district.

On 4 March 2010, about 63 people were killed and 15 injured when a gate at Kripalu Maharaj's Ashram at Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh collapsed during distribution of food on the occasion of a ritual, for which nearly 10,000 people had converged.

On 30 September 2008, nearly 250 devotees were killed and over 60 injured in a stampede at Chamunda Devi temple in Rajasthan's Jodhpur city.

The incident took place when there was a rumour of a bomb going off. More than 10,000 people had turned up at the famous temple for a darshan of the Hindu goddess.

A similar tragedy at the Hindu temple of Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh on 3 August 2008 had killed over 150 people, mainly women and children, and injured about 230.

On 27 March that year, at least eight devotees were crushed to death and 10 seriously injured in a stampede at a temple in the remote Karila village in Madhya Pradesh.

A stampede at Mandhar Devi temple in Maharashtra claimed 340 lives in January 2005. The accident happened when some people fell down on the steps made slippery by devotees breaking coconuts.

Among other stampedes, at least six people were killed and 12 injured in July 2008 during the annual Jagannath Yatra in Puri, Orissa. In January 2008, five people were killed at Durga Malleswara temple in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

In October 2007, 11 people were killed in such a tragedy at Pawagah in Gujarat while in November 2006, four elderly people were crushed to death during a stampede at Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa.

Nealy 40 pilgrims were killed and 125 injured in a stampede at Kumbh Mela in Nasik in August 2003.

On 14 January 1999, more than 50 people lost their lives in a stampede at the Pamba base camp near Sabarimala in Kerala. The melee was caused by, among other things, the collapse of the sides of a hillock.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 08, 2011 16:37:50 IST