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Himachal shrines to adopt Vaishno Devi model

Source: PTI
August 04, 2008 21:59 IST
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Alarmed by the Naina Devi temple tragedy, the Himachal Pradesh government on Monday constituted a three-member panel to formulate guidelines for regulation of pilgrim movement in the state's major shrines and said it will consider introducing the 'Vaishno Devi model' for the purpose.

After a high-level meeting, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal constituted a committee comprising Principal Secretary (Home) P C Kapoor, Secretary (Language and Culture) B K Agarwal and Additional DGP (CID) D S Minhas for suggesting guidelines to be adopted by temple authorities to avoid such incidents in future.

Mandi Divisional Commissioner Ashwani Kapoor has been asked to probe Sunday's stampede at Bilaspur district that claimed over 140 lives. He has also been asked to see if the stampede was triggered by rumours and submit his report within two weeks.

Dhumal said his government was looking in to the Vaishno Devi temple model under which devotees are allowed to proceed in batches, only after being registered.

The Himachal Pradesh government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh for the dead, Rs 50,000 for seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for other injured.

He ordered tighter security at prominent temples like Naina Devi, Mata Chintpurni, Baba Balak Nath, Mata Jwalamukhi, Baba Badbhag Singh and Mata Brajeshwari.

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