In the second weather-related mishap in the past four days at the ongoing Kumbh fair, three persons were injured today when a tree fell on them at Badnagar area as hailstorm and squall coupled with rain played spoilsport at the second ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath).
On May 5, seven persons were killed and around 90 injured when heavy rains accompanied by lightning and squall flattened and uprooted makeshift tents of pilgrims in and around the site of the Kumbh Mela.
“Three persons, possibly devotees, were injured in Badnagar area of the Simhastha Mela when a tree fell on them following a squall that hit the religious fair. Besides three camps were also damaged in Mangalnath area,” Ujjain SP Manohar Varma told PTI.
A large number of devotees were seen scurrying for cover as weather turned hostile around 3 PM.
“No death or major loss to property has been reported,” Ujjain district collector Kavindra Kiyawat said.
“We are gathering information. Some places had been hit by the hailstorm,” he added.
The collector said around 30 lakh people had taken the holy dip in Shipra river before the weather became rough.
Meanwhile, in a gesture of social harmony, Muslims threw open doors of a mosque to accommodate devotees who ran helter skelter following inclement weather.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan left for Ujjain from Bhopal by road to take stock of the situation after the squall hit the mela, a senior government official said.
Rain continued for several hours at this ancient city where lakhs of devotees from various parts of the country have converged to take holy dip on a day that coincides with auspicious Akashya Tritiya.
Though rain subsided by evening, intermittent showers continued.
This morning, the second ‘Shahi Snan’ began with Naga sadhus of Juna Akhara venturing into the Shipra chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’.
The bath began with Juna Akhara pontiff Hari Giri offering puja at Ramghat. The Simhastha mela is being held here after a gap of 12 years.
This time, transgenders have also set up their akhara in the mela area and took out a procession in the city, which was accorded a grand welcome. Though the transgenders had announced that would take ‘shahi snan’ today, they said this has been postponed to May 12 now.