AHMADABAD, India – At least 12 Hindu devotees were trampled to death on a narrow path leading to a temple in western India on Sunday, police said.
Another eight people were injured in the stampede during a religious festival at the temple of the Hindu goddess Mahakali in Panchmahal district, nearly 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of Ahmadabad, the key city of western Gujarat state, said Dipandar Trivedi, the senior superintendent of police.
Hindus believe the goddess to be the destroyer of evils and enemies.
Devotees have to walk about a kilometer (nearly half a mile) to reach the hilltop temple. Thousands had crowded the narrow path leading to the temple when the stampede occurred, Trivedi told The Associated Press.
Hindus across India are celebrating the Navratri Festival, which coincides with the end of the monsoon season and is considered to be auspicious because it is associated with farmers sowing seeds — a time of prosperity and abundance.