Ujjain temple fire incident is extremely saddening: President Droupadi Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu on Monday expressed her pain over the injuries to people in the fire incident at Ujjain`s Mahakal temple and wished speedy recovery to the injured. 

Fourteen priests, including `sevaks` (assistants), were injured in the fire in the Mahakal Temple, one of 12 sacred jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva, in Madhya Pradesh`s Ujjain city, reported PTI. The mishap happened during the `bhasma aarti`, the traditional ritual done early morning on the occasion of Holi.

“The news of people getting injured in the fire incident in Ujjain`s Mahakaal temple is extremely saddening. I wish speedy recovery of all the injured,” the President said in a post on X.

When fire broke out on Monday in the sanctum sanctorum of Ujjain`s renowned Mahakaleshwar Temple, the rituals of playing Holi with the deity were being performed during `Bhasma Aarti`, an early morning sacred ceremony involving ashes that carries great religious significance among Lord Shiva devotees across the world, PTI report said. 

Bhasma Aarti` carries a great religious significance and devotees from all over the country and the world reach Ujjain to witness it. The aarti starts at 4 am. The blaze started at 5:50 am as `gulal` or coloured powder fell on the puja thali that contained burning camphor, Ujjain Collector Neeraj Kumar Singh said. 

A magisterial probe has been ordered and a report will be submitted in three days, Singh said.

In a post on social media platform X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the incident “very painful”.

As per PTI report, “Fourteen priests including sevaks (servitors) suffered burn injuries. The fire started as `gulal` (coloured powder used during rituals) fell on the puja thali that contained burning `kapoor` (camphor). It later spread on the floor and turned into a blaze,” the collector said. He said some of the injured are being treated in the district hospital, while eight others have sought treatment in Indore. 

Madhya Pradesh minister Kailash Vijayvargiya said the fire may have been caused by chemicals in `gulal`. 

(With PTI inputs)

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