ibnlive » India

Nov 08, 2011 at 05:44pm IST

Haridwar: 16 dead in stampede at Gayatri Sangh

New Delhi: At least 16 people have been reportedly killed and 10 others injured in a stampede on Tuesday at Gayatri Sangh in Haridwar.

According to reports, tens of thousands of people had gathered for the centenary celebrations of religious Guru Pandit Sriram Sharma.

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The centenary celebrations began on Monday and are on till the November 11.

The stampede broke out when a large number of followers tried to enter the gate of the Shantikunj Ashram to take part in a 'yagya', reports said.

Security arrangements are largely handled by Gayatri Pariwar activists, reports said.

The victims were removed from the site to ambulances by volunteers of Gayatri Parivar, which had organised a five-day event aimed at propagating Gayatri Mantra -- one of the foremost chants in Hinduism - beginning Sunday.

Some of the injured limped as they tried to walk. Others were carried on stretchers. Many others looked frightened after escaping the trauma.

The celebrations were to go on for five days from November 7-11.

More than 50 lakh people were expected for the celebrations. Spiritual guru Pandit Sriram Sharma, founded the Gayatri Pariwar, was born in 1911.

Among those set to attend were the chief ministers of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and the Dalai Lama.