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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed grief over the deaths in the Varanasi stampede and announced a compensation of Rs. two lakh each to the families of the deceased.
"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the stampede in Varanasi. Condolences to the bereaved families. Prayers with those injured," Modi tweeted.
"I have spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible help to those affected due to the stampede..," he said in another tweet.
At least 19 persons, including 14 women, were killed and over 60 others, injured in the stampede on the Rajghat bridge where thousands of people were taking out a procession after a religious congregation, officials said.
Modi also sanctioned an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the seriously injured, from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.