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Indo-Americans critical of India’s failure at curbing frequent stampedes

Evening view of Har-ki-Pauri, Haridwar. This i...

Evening view of Har-ki-Pauri, Haridwar. This is an older photograph as it shows the old Ganga Temple... via Wikipedia

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Indo-Americans are critical of frequent occurrences of deadly stampedes at religious gatherings in India.

Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although India was on track to become a global power but it had yet to come up with a foolproof plan to manage large crowds.

Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, was expressing grief over the loss of lives at November eight stampede tragedy at centenary celebrations involving Mahayagya in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) on Ganga bank reportedly claiming 20 lives and injuries to about 60 people in an estimated gathering of up to two million.

India failed or refused to learn lessons from the previous stampedes as these continued to happen. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies, Rajan Zed pointed out.

According to reports, about 1,000 lives have been lost at stampedes at religious gatherings in India during the last decade. Last such melee was around Sabarimala (Kerala) shrine in January last, killing over 104 pilgrims and injuring many others. Other such tragedies happened in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra during the past decade.

Suffocation and panic were reportedly some of the causes of tragedy. A magisterial probe has reportedly been ordered into the mishap and the five-day event, which began November six, has been curtailed. Haridwar is among India’s most popular pilgrim destinations.

Margaret Alva and Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri are Governor and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand state, while Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Manmohan Singh are President and Prime Minister of India respectively.

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