Patna Dussehra Stampede: 32 killed, 20 women, 6 children; Modi announces ex-gratia

Dussehra celebrations have turned tragic in Patna on Friday when a stampede at the Gandhi Maidan took lives of 32 people, mostly children and women, who gathered to witness the Ravana Vadh event.

The incident took place when thousands of people who had gathered tried to exit after the burning of the effigy of Ravan on Durga Puja, said Patna District Magistrate Manish Kumar Verma. “We have information that 25 people, including women and children died due to stampede after ‘Ravan vadh’ and 15 people were seriously injured,” he told the media. ” Among the dead, there were 5-6 children and around 20 women,” said Mr Verma.

Later, the state home secretary amir Subhani informed the media that 32 people were killed in the event. Those injured have been admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has attended similar event in Delhi on Friday evening, has called up Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and sanctioned Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of those killed in the stampede.

Many people fainted when the stampede at the time of exit, which was usually neglected by authorities who streamline the entry with security screening but leave the exit unattended. Moreover, the over-crowding fueled the situation turn tragic with women and children becoming the victims in such incidents in India.

“Some people tried to disperse as fast as possible after end of Ravan Vadh and that created the trouble,” a district police official told the media. Some witnesses blamed the mismanagement of district administration as it failed to control the huge crowd who gathered for the event.

Some people said rumours that a live electric wire had fallen on the ground triggered panic people tried to flee the ground jostling the crowd and creating stampede, said district authorities. The ground turned gory with slippers, shoes and footwear seen strewn on a 500 metre stretch, said authorities. Mostly women and children were run over in the frenzy, they said.

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