Two dead during traditional Annakoot loot ceremony in Ranchhodrayji temple of Dakor

Dakor (Gujarat):

Two people died, one of them in a stampede like scene, during the traditional ceremony of Annakoot loot (tradition of taking the prasad kept in the sanctum sanctorum) in the famous Ranchhodraiji temple in Dakor town of Kheda district in Central Gujarat yesterday, police said today.

While one of the deceased was a 54 year old sevak (staff) of the temple who died of heart attack, the other identified as Akshaykumar Ramanlal Parmar (23), resident of nearby Sureli Darasiyapura village, was crushed to death by the mob.
PSI Dakor R B Chavda today said that the incident took place at around 1430 hrs yesterday during the annual Annakoot loot tradition. ‘A huge crowd suddenly entered the sanctum sanctorum to get the prasad or bhog (sweets and other items etc offered to the lord) kept there, in a manner of looting it or competing with each other to get it first. While the Mandir sevak died of heart attack, Akshay, who had entered the temple to get the prasad, slipped on the floor and was crushed by mob of devotees who were also in a frenzy to get the prasad first. He was taken to a hospital where he died,’ the PSI said.

‘Traditionally, for Annakoot loot, the temple trust sends invitation to 68 adjoining villages participate in the loot of the prasad. A few years ago also two or three people have died in similar manner. But most of the time it went off without any untoward incident,’ the PSI said.

He said that the matter was however under investigation as per the section 174 of the CrPC.


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