Bodies of temple stampede victims identified

August 5th, 2008 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 4 (IANS) The bodies of all the 145 stampede victims at the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh have been identified. The bodies have been taken to the civil hospital at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.

Chief Medical Officer of the hospital Ashok Sharma told IANS that 118 bodies were identified on the day of tragedy and rest were identified Monday.

Meanwhile, a senior police official told IANS that at the time of the tragedy, more than 50,000 devotees were standing on the route to the shrine.

The police had set up 10 barricades on the one-km track to the manage the crowd.

Only four police personnel were posted at the barricade where the stampede occurred against the required strength of 60.

He said it was also decided during the drill before the beginning of the fair that each barricade should hold only 200 devotees and they would be allowed to move up after getting clearance from the next barricade.

But at the time of the tragedy, more than 1,500 devotees were waiting for their turn to move towards the shrine.

Moreover, no meeting was held between police officials of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh before the beginning of the fair in order to manage the crowds.

Most of the devotees visiting the shrine are from Punjab.

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