India has experienced yet another stampede at a Hindu temple. Over 25,000 devotees showed up to pass through a steep and narrow pathway to 15th century Chamunda Devi temple. The resulting stampede killed at least 147 and injured at least 55 others. Estimates continue to rise and now some reports put the deaths and injuries above 300.
These stampedes have been regular occurrences in India where the government continues to fail to require sufficient protections and crowd controls. Last month, 130 people were killed in a virtually identical stampede at a temple.
The temple is dedicated to goddess Kali in her wrathful avatar (form) of Chamunda.
Nevertheless, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria insisted that there were ample officers to control the crowd, but that the large crowd overwhelmed them. That is a rather curious concept. You have adequate police but they simply were not adequate to handle a crowd that size.
Last month, more than 130 people were killed when panicked worshippers tried to flee a crowded mountaintop Hindu temple in northern India.
Once again, there is does not appear sufficient deterrent in terms of legal liability in such cases. Politically, there appears to be no great pressure on the government to prepare adequately for these events.
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