A number of devotees, including women and children, were grievously injured on Monday following a stampede at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar Siva Temple. The crowd turned uncontrollable after visits by some VIPs, including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
The incident took place at gate number four of the temple where despite Covid restrictions, the crowd was seen jostling and pushing against each other in a bid to enter the temple. Several tumbled down and others fell over them leading to one of the barricade gates getting damaged, an official said. A video of the incident went viral on social media.
“At around 8:30am, a large number of people tried to enter for darshan and in the process broke the barricade at gate number four of the temple complex. After the barricade broke, several people tried to run towards the main deity but thankfully there was no untoward incident," the temple’s assistant administrator Moolchand Joonwal told PTI. “Due to it being the first Monday of the holy month of Shravan, people were allowed to stand in queues for darshan apart from pre-booking. However, the crowd that turned up was much larger than what we expected," he said.
Eye witnesses said social distancing and other COVID-19 norms were violated as people queued up outside the temple.