Puri: At least 10 devotees fainted inside the Shree Jagannath Temple here on Friday and were taken to the district headquarters hospital here, police said.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Ranjan Kumar Das said the heavy rush of devotees was responsible for the incident that took place in the early hours of the day.
The Hindu month of Kartik is considered holy and large number of devotees flock to the 12th century temple to pay their obeisance to Lord Jagannath.
“Those who fell ill were mostly elderly persons. We are augmenting the arrangement to ensure smooth darshan of devotees inside the temple,” Das said. According to preliminary information, about a dozen devotees were reported to have taken ill and ten of them fainted soon after ‘Mangal Aarati’ in the temple. They fell down as the crowd of devotees surged inside. They were given preliminary treatment in the Temple and then shifted to Puri hospital.
Das said Jagannath Temple Police (JTP) helped the devotees who fell down.
Most of the injured persons were discharged after treatment, officials said.
Puri superintendent of police KV Singh said, “There was rush in the temple but no stampede. A total 15 platoons (450 personnel) of the police were deployed to control the crowd. Their number will be increased keeping in view the rush of devotees.” One of the devotees said that those who went for darshan of the deities were allowed to enter the temple after the morning ‘Mangala Aarti’. As the gates opened many of them scrambled towards the deities and some of them fell down and became unconscious near Ghantidwara and Satapahacha in the Temple.
(Published 10 November 2023, 10:57 IST)