Devotee dies of suffocation at Puri temple

Puri: The Diwali celebration turned sour for the family of a devotee who died due to suffocation while entering Sri Jagannath temple here on Wednesday.

Nidhi Behera, hailing from Nayagarh, fainted in the heavy crowd at Singhadwar due to suffocation and was rushed to Puri district headquarters hospital. He died while undergoing treatment.

Behera along with his five family members came to the pilgrim town to offer ‘Paya Sradha’ to his forefathers on the occasion of Diwali, family sources said.

Thousands of devotees thronged the pilgrim city to pay obeisance to ancestors by lighting jute sticks on Bada Danda (Grand road). Despite all arrangements and barricading system at the temple, the unfortunate incident occurred due to over crowd of pilgrims, sources said.

Notably, seven platoons of force have been deployed to ensure safety at the 12th century shrine.