Five killed in Madhya Pradesh temple stampede

Bhopal, Oct 13 (IANS) At least five people were killed and 25 others injured in a stampede in Datia district of Madhya Padesh Sunday morning, as devouts thronged a temple on the last day of the Navratra festival, a senior police officer said.

A large number of devotees thronged the Ratangarh temple for prayers, when the stampede occurred following over-crowding on a narrow bridge across the Sindh river.

An eyewitness said police personnel used batons to control the surging crowd and this led to the crowd stampeding.

In the stampede, some of the devotees are feared to have fallen off the bridge into the river flowing below.

Deputy Inspector General of Police D.K. Arya told IANS that he did not have exact details of the victims so far but was proceeding to the accident site.

Datia legislator Narottam Mishra, who is also the state government spokesman, said the stampede did not occur due to alleged police baton charge, but following a rumour that the bridge was collapsing. He said he was on way to Ratangarh to oversee the rescue operation.

Datia is about 390 km from state capital Bhopal.

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