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25 pilgrims injured in Sabarimala temple stampede

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25 pilgrims injured in Sabarimala temple stampede
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Sabarimala: At least 25 Sabarimala pilgrims were injured in a "minor stampede" at the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa on Sunday evening, which witnessed a heavy rush of devotees.

The injured have been admitted to Sannidhanam hospital, Pathnamthitta Collector R Girija said. The condition of two injured pilgrims is critical.

The Collector said there was a "small stampede" between Sannidhanam and Malikapuram and about 20 persons were injured.

There was a heavy rush of pilgrims Sunday, the penultimate day before culmination of the 41-day mandala pooja.

The stampede occurred just as the holy 'Thanga Angi' procession carrying ornaments worn by Lord Ayyappa on Mandala pooja tomorrow had reached the temple this evening.

The procession starts from Aranmula Sree Parthasarthy temple four days before the Mandala pooja.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said there was a heavy rush of pilgrims at the shrine when the ‘Thanga Angi’ was brought.

He was at the temple shortly before the stampede and had left the shrine after 'deeparadhana' (evening prayers) with Thanga Angi.

Police have restricted movement of pilgrims from downhill Pamba to Sannidhanam because of the heavy rush.

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