“The incident happened at a temple in the state’s Datia district, where some 500,000 devotees gathered for a religious festival. Between 50 and 60 people have died and over 100 injured. The injured are hospitalized. The toll is likely to rise,” Deputy Inspector General of Police D.K. Arya told the media.
Quoting eye-witnesses, some local TV channels reported that the stampede broke out after some devotees jumped queue and police resorted to baton charge to control the crowd.
However, some other media reported the stampede took place after the devotees ran haywire following a rumor that a bridge had collapsed, following which many people even jumped on to a swollen river.
A probe has been ordered into the incident, the official said.
State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of 1.5 lakh rupees (3,000 U.S. dollars) each to the families of the deceased.
In the past year, dozens of people were killed in three similar tragedies. In 2011, over 100 died at a festival in the southern state of Kerala.