50 stampede victims from Punjab district, 15 from Haryana town

August 4th, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 4 (IANS) Out of the 145 lives lost in Sunday’s stampede at the Naina Devi shrine in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab’s Patiala district adjoining Chandigarh has suffered the maximum casualties at over 50 while 15 victims were from Tohana, a town in south Haryana. Officials of the Punjab and Haryana governments at the joint capital of the two states here said Monday that casualties from these states were 104 and 32, respectively.

The Hindu shrine in Himachal Pradesh, 120 km from here, witnessed a stampede during a heavy rush of devotees during the Sawan Navratras, or the first nine days of the Hindu holy month of Shravan, caused by rumours by some devotees that boulders were falling from the hill shrine.

Majority of the dead were women and children.

Deputy Commissioner of Fatehabad in south Haryana O.P. Sheoran said 15 people from Tohana town and nearby areas were killed in the stampede. Out of these 14 were related.

The dead included a 42-year-old man, two middle-aged women, seven girls - a one year old and others all below 18 years - and five teenaged boys.

The Punjab and Haryana governments have announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to the next of kin of each of those killed from these states. The Himachal Pradesh government Sunday ordered a magisterial probe into the stampede and announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to the next of kin of all those killed.

The bodies of the identified victims were Monday transported from the Civil Hospital in Anandpur Sahib, 90 km from here, to their respective towns.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the hospital to meet relatives of the dead and those injured.

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