Mrunal Manmay Dash

In an untoward situation, at least 10 devotees were injured in a stampede-like situation inside the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar on the evening of Maha Shivratri on Friday.

As per reports, thousands of devotees had made a queue to avail darshan of Lord Lingaraj and watch the Mahadipa being taken atop the temple since early morning.

But by 7:30pm, the devotees became impatient and a large crowd broke the barricade at Singhadwara and tried to enter the Temple. A stampede-like situation occurred in which over 10 devotees were reportedly injured.

Sources said the injured persons included some police officials on duty. Later, they were shifted to Capital Hospital after first aid at the temple.

The incident raised a serious question mark on the security arrangements made by the Commissionerate Police. It is alleged that the police were busy in facilitating darshan to VIPs and VVIPs when the incident occurred.

Following the incident, devotees broke their day-long fast after the holy Mahadipa was lifted atop the Lingaraj temple at around 10 pm.

It is pertinent to mention here that, unlike last year, this year the rituals were held almost on time. After the Bedha Parikrama rituals, wherein servitors move around the temple, the holy lamp was lit and then the servitors carrying the lamp climbed atop the majestic temple. They put the lamp atop the temple at around 10.15 pm. With this, the devotees broke their day-long fast.

Last year, the much-awaited ritual got delayed by three hours and the Mahadipa was lifted at 1.08 am.

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