One person was killed and 12 others were injured when a stampede broke out in the Hanuman Temple in Panki on the outskirts of the city today.
Devotees in large numbers had gathered at the temple on the occasion of 'Budhwa Mangal' festival when the incident took place. The doors of the 500-year-old temple were to open at 3 am but the devotees had lined up since last night.
DIG (Kanpur) Amitabh Yash told reporters that serpentine lines were seen outside the temple since last night following which additional policemen were posted near the site.
Due to the heat and fatigue, some devotees fainted and a stampede soon broke out, Yash said.
However, some eyewitnesses said that police used force to control the crowd which led to the stampede.
The DIG said police used mild force to control the crowd.
The injured were rushed to various hospitals in the city where one of the devotees identified as 38-year-old Purushottam Prajapati died, hospital sources said.
This is the second stampede in a religious place in as many days. Nine persons were killed when a stampede broke out in an ashram in Deogarh in Jharkhand yesterday.
Yash said many devotees were still fainting due to heat and fatigue as they have been standing in the line for at least eight hours.
Meanwhile, police said condition of three injured in the incident was critical.
Mahant (chief priest) of the Hanuman temple told reporters that when the gates to the temple opened at 3:00 AM, some devotees forcefully entered the temple along with priests.
To remove these devotees, police resorted to lathicharge, which led to the stampede, he alleged.
The DIG said around 600 police personnel had been deployed earlier, but after the incident, police presence in the area has been increased, with senior police officials also being present at the spot.
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