Gangasagar: 14 lakh pilgrims take holy dip, 2 die
Two pilgrims died at the Gangasagar on Friday even as over 14 lakh devotees took holy dip on the occasion of ‘Makar Sankranti’ and offered puja at the Kapil Muni temple, a district official said.
The ‘snan’ (dip), which began at 7:44 am, will take place for another 16 hours, the head priest of Kapil Muni temple Mahant Gyandas said.
A South 24 Parganas district official said one pilgrim died of cardiac arrest after the 'snan' while another died of injury after his bus collided with another, on way to the Sagar islands, at Buldubi near Kachuberia.
Eighty-two persons were injured in the collision and some of them were hospitalised, the official added.
With this, 10 pilgrims have died since January 12 either on the Sagar ground or nearby Kachuberia or 'lot no 8', the official said.
Of these 10 deaths, nine (six women and three men) accounted for ailments like cardiac arrest, the official said.
The congregation at Gangasagar, an island near the confluence of Ganga and the sea, represented a mini-India, with people from different states as well as Europeans and some from Nepal having assembled.
Gyandas said he had a telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday and claimed the CM proposed a bigger mela called ‘Moksha’ (salvation) Gangasagar Mela next year where religious heads from different parts of India will attend.