1 killed, 17 hurt as stage set at Kalkaji temple collapses | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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1 killed, 17 hurt as stage set at Kalkaji temple collapses

Jan 29, 2024 06:00 AM IST

The Kalkaji Temple Management and Improvement Committee expressed its grief at the incident, but also distanced itself from the ‘Jagran’ in question

One person was killed and at least 17 others suffered injuries after an elevated platform set up for VIPs at a religious event at the Kalkaji temple in south Delhi collapsed in the early hours of Sunday, police officers aware of the case said.

The site of the Kalkaji temple where a wooden platform collapsed during a ‘Jagran’ early Sunday (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
The site of the Kalkaji temple where a wooden platform collapsed during a ‘Jagran’ early Sunday (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12.30am, when singer Pratik Bachan — who goes by the stage name B Praak — was performing during a jagran (religious event). Investigators and eyewitnesses said that during the singer’s performance, a large number of people rushed on to the stage, leading to its collapse.

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Police also noted that they had not given permission for the event, adding that the organisers of the jagran have been booked.

Giving details of the incident, deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Rajesh Deo said that a jagran was organised at the Kalkaji temple, for which two elevated platforms — made of wood and iron frames — were erected: one for the families of the organisers and VIPs, and the second for the performers at the event.

READ | B Praak reacts to Kalkaji Temple stage collapse, says management asked crowd to move back: ‘Par aap logo ka pyar hai’

Kusum Maurya, 42, who was deployed at the venue as a bouncer and was among the 17 injured, said, “The crowd lost control when B Praak reached the main stage. I rushed there to control the crowd, but 50-60 people had climbed the stage that only had the capacity for 15-20 guests. As a result, it came crashing down.”

Temple head Mahant Surendra Nath said, “We did not expect such a large gathering... People climbed on the stage that was meant for the families of the organisers and the VIPs. The stage could not bear the overload and collapsed.”

Deo said that the injured people were rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre, Safdarjung hospital, and a private hospital through ambulances. He said one person — later identified as Tina Devi, 45, a resident of Tughlakabad Extension in south Delhi — was declared dead at the private hospital. 17 others were injured in the incident, he said.

The DCP also noted that the police did not grant permission for the event at the temple, adding that a case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of other), 304A (death by negligence), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) was registered against the organisers at the Kalkaji police station.

“The organisers had approached us, seeking permission for the event. They went ahead, despite the permission not granted…,” he said.

The Kalkaji Temple Management and Improvement Committee expressed its grief at the incident, but also distanced itself from the jagran in question.

“The committee and the entire priest family at the temple are extremely saddened by the accident that took place in the temple premises and have utmost condolences for the family of the deceased and the injured… Neither the organisers took permission for this programme from us, nor we gave any such permission. Appropriate action should be taken against whoever is found guilty in the incident,” said Lokesh Bhardwaj, general secretary, Shri Kalkaji Temple Management and Improvement Committee.

HT tried to contact the organisers of the jagran, including its member Anuj Mittal, on two mobile numbers that were mentioned on the banners of the event uploaded on social media. However, both the numbers were found switched off.

The police said they were also looking for the organisers.

Later on Sunday, B Praak, in a video shared on Instagram, expressing anguish over the incident. He said, This is the first time I’ve seen something like this happen before my eyes, and I’m deeply saddened by it… Going forward, we have to be very careful and take utmost care of the children and the elderly… There is nothing more valuable than life and can never be. We have to be very careful that life is never at risk.”

Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal posted in Hindi on X: “The accident that happened last night during the jagran of Kalkaji temple is very sad. A woman has died in the accident, may her soul rest in peace. I wish for the speedy recovery of the 17 injured people. I appeal to all the people of Delhi to take special care of the security and safety standards in any kind of big event and make arrangements in such a way that no untoward incident happens.”

“We pray to Kalka Maa for the speedy recovery of those injured, and urge the religious bodies to ensure that necessary safety steps are taken and a limited number of people are allowed on the dais,” said Delhi BJP spokesperson Vikram Bidhuri.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Karn Pratap Singh has been writing on crime, policing, and issues of safety in Delhi for almost a decade. He covers high-intensity spot news, including terror strikes, serial blasts and security threats in the national capital.

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