Vaishno Devi stampede: Mismanagement to blame, say survivors | India News – Times of India

Katra: A sudden stampede of devotees at the Vaishno Devi temple here on the eve of the New Year has left 12 people dead, with some survivors blaming “mismanagement” for the tragedy.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, however, denied the allegation that all necessary arrangements were made in view of the expected crowds, while Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh blamed a minor altercation for the “unfortunate” incident.
“The cause of this tragic accident was nothing but mismanagement. They were aware of the possible crowds but allowed the people unhindered, ”said a pilgrim from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh while waiting outside a morgue to identify the bodies.
The man, who did not want to be named, said the situation could have been avoided if the authorities had conducted the pilgrimage better. “A similar situation happened a few minutes ago but fortunately no one was injured and the situation was brought under control. We were part of a group of 10 fans – all neighbors. A huge crowd was trampled as people went in and out, and everyone was in a hurry, ”he said.
A lot of people were resting on the floor instead of going back and it created more crowds in the building, he added. Another, who lost his friend, Arun Pratab Singh, 30, said they came from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He added that the building was overflowing with crowds.
“I went to the shrine about 10 years ago but this time I was surprised to see a huge crowd. After the tragedy, we felt helpless and did not get any help till 6 in the morning, ”he complained.
Ramesh Kumar, chief executive officer of the Shrine Board, who first arrived at the scene to check the situation and see the injured at Narayan Hospital, could not be reached.

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