Jodhpur temple doors open after stampede tragedy

Jodhpur temple doors open after stampede tragedy

Jodhpur: A day after nearly 150 people were killed in the stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple here, the shrine on Wednesday opened for devotees but their numbers were few even as authorities beefed up police presence along the two-km route to it in the Mehrangarh Fort here.

From the thousands who had gathered to offer prayers at the temple on the first day of Navaratri festival on Tuesday, their number this morning was reduced to just a few, officials said.

With the authorities taking no chances, more than 100 police personnel have been deployed along the route to the temple located in the 15th century fort.

“The devout are visiting the temple but it is different from what it was yesterday before the tragedy struck. It was like a mela and now is deserted," they said.

Over 55 persons, who sustained injury in the stampede, are being treated in various hospitals, they said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasudhara Raje, who had visited the stampede site yesterday, has ordered a judicial probe into the incident. The trampling had been apparently caused by a rush of devotees as the doors of the temple were opened for worship at dawn.

The casualties occurred in the queue meant for men while that for the women and children was unaffected, the officials said.