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J&K political parties express grief over Vaishno Devi stampede

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Srinagar/Jammu, Jan 01: Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir expressed grief over the loss of lives in the stampede at the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu on Saturday and urged the administration to take adequate steps to ensure such an incident does not recur.

“Deeply saddened by the news from #matavaishnodevi. My condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the stampede & prayers for the quick & complete recovery of all those injured, National Conference (NC) vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

NC chief Farooq Abdullah said it was an extremely tragic incident at the holy place and expressed the hope that authorities will swiftly identify the causes and address them.

Peoples Conference chairman, Sajad Lone tweeted: “Extremely bad news coming in from Vaishno Devi. About 12 people killed in stampeded (sic). My humble thoughts and prayers with the families of those who lost their lives.”

The BJP’s J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina and senior party leaders Devender Singh Rana and Surjeet Singh Slathia separately visited the hospital where the injured were admitted and the Katra base camp nearby.

Expressing sadness over the incident, Raina also said that party workers were assisting the affected people.

The PDP faulted the police and administration and said such “mismanagement” has been unheard of in recent times.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families who lost their loved ones & pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” the party said in a tweet.

“I am also saddened by the tragic accident at Vaishno Devi & neither the administration the nor police are carrying out their duties. Instead, they are engrossed in threatening people into silence. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.

Congress’ J&K unit chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Peoples Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone and Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said the incident was unfortunate and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families.

“I am deeply pained to learn about the tragic incident of loss of precious lives due to stampede in #MataVaishnoDevi Bhawan, #Katra.  A very unfortunate incident, my heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and prayers for speed recovery of injured,” Bukhari said.

Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu also expressed grief over the incident.

“Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan at Katra due to a stampede. My heartfelt condolences with the families of the deceased and my prayers for those who are injured,” Mattu wrote on Twitter.