Vaishno Devi stampede probe panel asks general public to submit videos or record statements

By PTI

JAMMU: A high-powered committee, constituted to probe the stampede at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, has appealed to the general public to share videos, if any, or record statements about the incident that took place on Saturday.

The public notice was issued by Jammu Divisional Commissioner Raghav Langer, who is one of the members of the committee constituted by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to probe the incident.

Twelve people lost their lives and at least 16 others were injured in the stampede at the famous shrine in Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours of Saturday after a scuffle between two groups of pilgrims during the New Year rush.

“It is for the information of the general public that any person who desires to furnish any facts, statements, electronic evidence etc. regarding the incident (stampede) may share the same. Any person who desires to meet in person, may appear before the said inquiry committee in person between 11 am and 1 pm on January 5 in the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, to furnish any statements/facts/evidence,” the notice read.

The three-member inquiry panel headed by Principal Secretary (Home) Shaleen Kabra, with Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh as the other member, has been asked to submit its report within a week.

Meanwhile, the three members visited the shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district and were briefed by officers on the ground, officials said.

They said Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta accompanied the team.

Langer along with Singh had visited Katra on Saturday as well to take stock of the situation in the aftermath of the stampede and ensure that COVID-19 guidelines were strictly adhered to.