A high-level inquiry has been ordered into the stampede at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in which at least 12 people were killed and around 15 injured on Saturday (January 1, 2022) early morning.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha informed that the Inquiry Committee will be headed by Principal Secretary (Home) with ADGP, Jammu and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu as members.
He also said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him about the incident.
“Hon’ble Prime minister has assured all the help,” the office of the LG tweeted.
The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor also announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 2 lakh to each injured.
According to officials, the stampede occurred around 2:15 AM on Saturday near gate number three outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills.
It was triggered due to a heavy rush of devotees who had come to pay their obeisance to mark the beginning of the New Year.
While the dead bodies of the deceased have been shifted to CHC Katra for further legal formalities, the injured pilgrims were provided first aid at Medical Unit Bhawan, and have now been subsequently shifted to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Super Specialty Hospital in Kakryal for specialized treatment.
As per the latest reports, four injured pilgrims have already been discharged and the casualties are from Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi express grief
President Ram Nath Kovind said that he was very distressed to know that an unfortunate stampede claimed the lives of devotees at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan in Jammu and Kashmir and offered heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
“Very distressed to know that an unfortunate stampede claimed lives of devotees at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery to those injured,” Kovind tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the stampede and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured.
“Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to JK LG Shri Manoj Sinha Ji, Ministers Shri Dr Jitendra Singh Ji, Nityanand Rai Ji and took stock of the situation,” PM Modi tweeted.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh rushes to Katra
Union Minister Jitendra Singh has rushed to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation. Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), is a Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur constituency.
“I’m immediately rushing to Katra to take stock of the situation arising out of the tragedy at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. I look forward to have a detailed discussion with the administration and report it back to Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi,” he tweeted.
In another tweet, Singh said the prime minister is personally monitoring and keeping track of the tragic situation arising out of the stampede at the shrine.
“PM has conveyed his sympathies to bereaved families and issued instructions to provide all possible medical aid & assistance to the injured,” the minister tweeted
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board helpline numbers: 01991234804, 01991234053.
District Administration helpline numbers: PCR Katra 01991-232010/ 9419145182, PCR Reasi 01991245076/ 9622856295; DC Reasi Control Room 01991-245763/ 9419839557.