Pawan causes stampede at Simhachalam

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Two persons suffered injuries on Sunday in a stampede that took place at the famed hill-shrine, the Simhachalam temple, when noted Telugu film actor Pawan Kalyan visited the temple.

The actor’s visit also caused much inconvenience to devotees, who were more in number with Sunday being a holiday. Some of the actor’s supporters entered the temple without removing their footwear. Pawan Kalyan was accompanied by the unit of the yet-to-be-released Telugu movie Gabbar Singh to have darshan of the presiding deity Lord Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, ahead of the launch of the movie’s video on Sun-day evening. The movie is a remake of Salman Khan’s blockbuster Dabangg.

As news spread among devotees that the hero of the movie was present, his fans thronged the temple in large numbers to get a glimpse of him. There was insufficient security — temple authorities said this was because the film party arrived two hours earlier than scheduled — and the actor’s personal staff had to control the enthusiastic crowds.

In the stampede, Pawan Kumar is said to have suffered minor bruises on his face and hands. Two devotees who were injured had to be given first-aid by the temple administration. The actor told reporters that he was at the temple to seek blessings of the Lord and refused to comment on his actor-turned-politician brother Chiranjeevi, or about politics. He merely said he wished that the music of the new film would be a big hit. The director of the film Harish Shanker, producer Ganesh and music director Devi Sri Prasad, was also present.

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