VIP prayers banned at Jharkhand temple after stampede

Ranchi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Jharkhand government on Wednesday banned ‘VIP darshan’ at the Baba Baidyanath Dham temple in Deoghar district during the ongoing Shravan month, two days after 11 people were killed and 50 others injured in a stampede.

“VIP darshan has been banned on the directives of the government. The decision was taken considering the convenience of devotees who arrive in millions during Shravan month,” a government official told IANS.

The decision was taken following Monday’s stampede at the temple in which 11 devotees were killed.

For smooth traffic movement, the state government has also put on hold tax collection by the Deoghar Municipal Corporation from vehicles which enter the area during Shravan month.

On August 10, at least 11 people were killed and 50 others injured in the stampede at the temple in Deoghar, 300 km from state capital Ranchi.

Over 100,000 people were in a queue, many of them waiting since Sunday night to get into the famous temple, when the stampede took place.

During Shravan month of the Hindu calendar, more than 30 lakh people offer prayers at the temple. On Mondays, the number goes up substantially up to two lakh.

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