Cuttack: Jostling for space among kanwarias while offering holy water to Lord Shiva on the third Monday of the holy month of Shravan ended up in tragedy when one person died in a stampede at the Dhabaleswar temple near Athagarh in the morning. The incident occurred while Kanwarias fought with each other to perform ‘Jalalagi’ or offering of water on the holy Shiv Linga first.
The deceased Kanwaria has been identified as Chukuri Pradhan of Sarakoli village of Cuttack district.
Reports say Dhabaleswar temple was jam-packed today morning after thousands of Kanwarias reached there to pour water on the holy Shiv Linga. Trouble erupted over the hanging bridge which witnessed a chaotic situation when Kanwarias above its carrying capacity tried to walk through it. The chaotic situation turned fatal when a group of Kanwarias competed with each other inside the Sacntum Sanctorum of the temple causing a stampede killing one devotee on the spot.
Kanwarias have alleged that the administration did not make ample arrangements for crowd management keeping in view the arrival of Kanwarias in large numbers, which resulted in the tragedy.
In a similar incident in the Shree Lokanath temple in Puri, a scuffle erupted between Kanwarias and cops deployed on duty over some misunderstanding. Following the scuffle, Kanwarias attacked policemen and ransacked the nearby police station. While five persons have been detained by police in the case, the district administration has ordered the Puri Sub-Collector to probe the issue and submit a report.