Pushkaram Stampede at Holy River in India, Death toll rises

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Stampede at Holy River in India, death toll rises — Thousands of devotees joining India’s religious festival caused stampede, have killed at least 27  devotees.

India is known for its diverse culture, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation’s major religions, many beliefs and practices still exist in the country.

Currently, India celebrated one of its famous festival,  Maha Pushkaralu festival in southern part, Tuesday.

It is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers, also known as Pushkaram.

The  Pushkaram festival includes reverence of ancestors, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes.

The devotees engage in activities such as bath in the river, charity, recitation of mantras and meditation.

Thousands of participants joined the said  Pushkaram festival, bathe in the waters of the Godavari rivers, Holy River in India.

The river is the second longest river in India after the river Ganga and is  sacred to Hindus, it has several places on its banks that have been places of pilgrimage for thousands of years.

In Indian belief that among the huge numbers of people who have bathed in her waters as a rite of cleansing are said to have been the deity Baladeva 5000 years ago and the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago.

Pushkaram festival is held on the banks of the river every twelve years.

As the celebration goes, an unexpected incident happened. Stampede, killing five of its devotees including four women and a fifteen-year old girl.

According to A. Srinivasan Rao, a deputy superintendent of police in Andhra Pradesh “We can confirm five deaths so far. Another five or six people are still undergoing treatment”,  he told AFP.

Pushkaram “The incident happened as the first set of worshipers were coming out of the river after taking a dip and then got in the way of others who wanted to be in the water at an auspicious time,” he added.

Situation had been brought under control and an investigation into the cause of the tragedy opened, said Chief Minister Chandrababu Naid, spokesman for Andhra Pradesh. Image/ AFP


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