At least three women have been killed in a stampede at Simaria Ghat in Bihar's Begusarai as hundreds gathered to participate in Kartik Purnima celebrations today.
The tragic incident took place on the banks of the Ganga River where devotees thronged to take a holy dip.
Begusarai SP, Aditya Kumar, said the women were above 80 years and were weak; he denied any stampede.
Bihar's Begusarai: Stampede during Kartik Purnima celebrations
Women likely died of suffocation: SP Aditya Kumar
The Begusarai SP said it appears that the old women suffocated to death as they were stuck on a narrow lane used for entering and exiting the Simaria Ghat by the hundreds of pilgrims.
Eyewitnesses said as soon as the stampede broke out, devotees panicked and rushed to escape but ended up being crushed on the narrow lane.
CM Nitish Kumar announces Rs. 4L compensation
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the incident. He announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 4L for the families of the deceased.
He asked the concerned officers to provide free medical treatment to the injured persons.
Stampedes during religious festivals are not uncommon in India. Such incidents mainly take place due to poor crowd management and safety measures by the authorities.