Dozens of people injured and 24 people were killed during a Hindu religious ceremony in northern India. The incident occurred on the outskirts of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Police officer SK Bhagat informed that the organizers were expecting 3000 devotees but instead 70000 devotees filled the ashram of a Hindu religious leader, Jai Baba Gurudev, on the banks of the Ganges river. It is an annual tradition for millions of Hindus to visit Varanasi and cleanse their sins by dipping in the river water. A spokesman for the organizers said the stampede occurred as police started turning back people from the overcrowded Rajgahard bridge. This triggered a rumor that the bridge had collapsed and people ran for safety. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his deep sadness on the tragedy. A hundred police officers were deployed to control the panicked crowd, said police officials.
Anisha Venkatesh Babu