12 dead in crowd surge at popular Hindu shrine in Kashmir
By AIJAZ HUSSAIN
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A crowd surge at a popular Hindu shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir has killed at least 12 people and injured 15 others on New Year’s Day. Initial reports suggest an altercation between a group of devotees led to the crush at the Mata Vaishnav Devi shrine, where tens of thousands of Hindus gathered to pay respects in the hilly town of Katra near southern Jammu city. Police say authorities were quick to respond and the order within the crowd was immediately restored and the pilgrimage resumed after nearly four hours. Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi has expressed his condolences in a Twitter message. Pilgrims often trek on foot to reach the hilltop temple, which is one of the most visited shrines in northern India.