NEW DELHI, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- At least 12 people were killed and many others injured Saturday in a stampede at a religious gathering in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

The stampede took place at Maliviya bridge locally called Rajghat bridge over river Ganga in Varanasi district, about 319 km southeast of Lucknow city, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

"We are monitoring the situation and as of now we can confirm that 12 people have been killed," Daljeet Chaudhary, a senior police official in Uttar Pradesh told reporters in Lucknow. "Some people are injured and among them the condition of few is stated to be critical."

Locals told Xinhua hundreds of devotees of Indian Hindu guru Jai Gurudev had gathered in Varanasi to pay tributes to their religious leader.

The stampede triggered panic among the people, following which the injured were taken to hospitals.

Authorities have rushed senior officials to the spot to assess the situation and carry out rescue operations.

Video footage on TV news channels showed colorful clothing and slippers scattered on the spot.

Last Sunday three people were killed and over two dozen injured in a stampede at a political rally organised by a regional Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Stampedes at religious festivals is common in India.