The New York Times explains what went wrong in the latest religious calamity in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh:
[S]everal pilgrims offered parikrama, in this case a form of prayer that involves progressing along the path in a supine position.
They don’t walk. They lie prone keeping a piece of coconut in their hand, they stretch fully, and then they get up,” [a police official] said. “This is how they make progress.”
As one pilgrim offered parikrama, another inadvertently brushed against her, and in order to apologize, touched her feet, a mark of respect in India. Though the path was relatively wide, it was so crowded that this sudden halt caused a human traffic jam, ending in the victims being trampled, including the woman offering parikrama.
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