Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP leader Uma Bharti were among the VIPs who visited Ujjain’s Makaleshwar Siva temple.
Several devotees, including women and children, were injured today following a stampede at Ujjain’s famous Mahakaleshwar Siva Temple. After visits by some VIPs, including Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the crowd turned uncontrollable and affected the smooth flow of devotees.
The incident took place at gate number four of the temple. After much pushing and pulling, the security personals gave way and people simply rushed in. Several people tumbled on the ground and others fell over them.
The video captured at the temple showed even some policemen who were been overpowered by the crowd and some devotees who were engaged in physical violence as well.
The Mahakaleshwar temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of lord Siva. It reopened last month, but only for those who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine or with a negative RT-PCR test report issued 48 hours prior to the visit.
Watch: Ujjain’s Makaleshwar Siva temple stampede:
On an average up to 3,500 devotees are allowed to enter the premise between 6 am and 8 pm. There are seven time slots of two hours each, with 500 people allowed in each slot.
However, today, VIPs like Uma Bharti and Mr Chouhan, too, chose to visit the temple, along with their families. This made it all the worse for the devotees and the administration, temple officials said.
Ashish Singh, Ujjain District Collector said today was an exception and that normalcy would return from next Monday.
“We will sit hand plan for next Monday. Covid protocol cannot be followed in the kind of free-for-all we had today. There were also too many people in one go. We will revise the plan. We will ensure social distancing,” Mr Singh said.
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