The father of 22-year-old Ramesh Gopinath, who was crushed to death in the stampede, told the Press Trust of India: "What will I do now? Our entire family was depending on him."

The federal government said last August that states needed to recruit 150,000 low-ranking police officers across the country by March to boost a depleted and overstretched force.

Many would-be recruits came from Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the main city.

Stampedes at public events in India are reasonably common.

Police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh last week blamed lax safety standards for the deaths of 63 people all of them women and children in a stampede outside a Hindu temple.