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Stampede at Andhra's Godavari Pushkarlu festival: More than 20 pilgrims killed
More than 20 pilgrims, mostly women were killed and 20 others got injured in a stampede at Andhra Pradesh's Godavari Pushkaralu in Rajahmundry today. The heavy rush at the Kotagummam Pushkar Ghat led to the stampede.

Today was the opening day of the 12-day long Godavari Maha Pushkaram. The tragedy occurred when a large number of pilgrims rushed towards one of the gates at the pushkar ghat on the banks of River Godavari to take the holy dip.

The bodies of the victims were shifted to the Rajahmundry government hospital. The injured were also brought to the hospital for the treatment. Authorities are saying that the toll may further rise as some of the bodies are still lying at the spot.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is monitoring the situation from a police control room and has ordered more policemen to be deployed to control crowd. CM Naidu along with his family has inaugurated the 12-day long festival today in the morning and took bath in the Godavari river.

Andhra's CM Naidu in a tweet said that the situation is now under control.

Naidu has also requested people to head to other Pushkar ghats to avoid overcrowding at any single ghat. He said that he was himself monitoring the situation from control room.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his condolence over the tragedy. He also spoke to the Andhra CM and discussed the situation on ground:

The tragedy is very unfortunate as Andhra Pradesh government had made elaborate arrangements for the festival.

There are 263 bathing ghats in the East and West Godavari districts in coastal Andhra where the pilgrims will take the holy dip during the religious festival.

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