Kolkata: At least five devotees have succumbed to extreme heat and several others fell ill as they were attending a religious festival at Panihati in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, several devotees participated in the 500-year-old Danda Mahotsav at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple at Panihati. The festival had been suspended for the last two years because of the Covid pandemic.
However, as the religious festival resumed this year, public enthusiasm to participate was quite high. But because of the extreme heat and humidity, around 50 devotees fell severely sick and five, including a woman, died.
The ailing have been admitted to local hospitals. The conditions of some of them are reportedly critical. Initially, it was estimated that three persons have died from the heat and humidity. The number later increased to five.
Soon after the news of death of three persons flashed, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter, expressing condolences to families of the deceased.
“Distressed to know of three devotees’ death due to heat and humidity in Danda Mahotsav at ISKCON temple at Panihati. CP and DM have rushed, all help being provided. My condolences to the bereaved families, solidarity to devotees,” she said in her tweet.
On getting the news, Trinamool’s North 24 Parganas district president and state Forest Minister, Jyotipriyo Mullick rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue process. “The state government will render all assistance including medical aid,” he said.
Following the tragedy, the temple authorities have suspended the festival for the time being.