The famous Mahakaleshwar Siva Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, was a scene of chaos on Monday, July 26, which also happened to be the first Monday in the holy month of Shravan.. A stampede-like situation unfolded at the venue after devotees in large number descended on the temple.
"At around 8:30 am, a large number of people tried to enter for darshan and in the process broke the barricade at gate number four of the temple complex. After the barricade broke, several people tried to run towards the main deity but thankfully there was no untoward incident," the temple's assistant administrator Moolchand Joonwal said.
Number Of Devotees Larger Than Allowed
Though it was decided that only 5,000 people would be allowed to offer prayers and that too through prebooking more than 50,000 devotees gathered at the temple. Security staffers were overpowered at the temple by the large number of devotees, who broke the barricades and forcefully entered the temple.
Several VIPs, including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Uma Bharti, also visited the temples and this in turn affected the smooth flow of devotees. Through the temple reopened last month, only those who have received at least one dose of their COVID vaccine or with a negative RT-PCR test report issued 48 hours prior to the visit, can enter the premises. Eyewitnesses said social distancing and other COVID-19 norms were violated as people queued up outside the temple.
Meanwhile, Congress blamed the state government for the stampede-like situation at the temple. Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary said, "Devotees from across the nation visit the temple to offer prayers. Despite knowing this, the district administration didn't make any arrangements. Had an untoward incident occurred yesterday, who would be responsible for that? BJP leaders."