Devotees Faint in Shree Jagannath Temple Amidst Heavy Rush During Kartik Month
In a distressing incident that unfolded this Friday at the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, a surge of worshippers during the auspicious Hindu month of Kartik led to at least 10 devotees fainting and sustaining injuries. The incident transpired in the early hours of the day, following the ‘Mangal Aarati’ ceremony in the 12th-century temple, a revered site where devotees gather to pay homage to Lord Jagannath.
The chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Ranjan Kumar Das, attributed the unfortunate incident to the substantial influx of devotees. He stated that the majority of those who fell ill were elderly individuals. Prompt action was taken by the temple authorities, providing preliminary treatment on-site before transferring the affected devotees to the district headquarters hospital in Puri.
Das reassured the public that measures were being taken to enhance arrangements within the temple to ensure the smooth and safe darshan (viewing) of devotees. He also acknowledged the assistance provided by the Jagannath Temple Police (JTP) in aiding the devotees who had fainted.
Preliminary reports indicate that the incident occurred as the crowd surged inside the temple premises after the ‘Mangal Aarati.’ Some devotees reportedly fell unconscious, resulting in injuries. Fortunately, most of the injured individuals, including women, were discharged from the hospital after receiving necessary treatment.
Puri’s Superintendent of Police, KV Singh, clarified that while there was a significant rush, there was no stampede. To manage the crowd, 15 platoons (450 personnel) of the police were deployed, with the possibility of increasing their numbers to handle the anticipated influx of devotees.
The incident serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by religious institutions during peak times of worship, emphasizing the need for robust crowd management strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of devotees. Authorities are actively working to address these concerns and enhance security measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.