AP stampede incident: Two inquiries ordered

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Vijayawada, Jan 4: Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister J Ratnakar Rao tonight said an inquiry by Revenue Secretary I V Subba Rao and a magisterial inquiry were ordered into the stampede incident, in which six people were killed and 17 others injured at Kanakadurga temple atop Indrakeeladri hill here.

Mr Rao along with Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao, who flew into the city from Hyderabad, visited the Government General Hospital and the Corporate Hospital, where the injured were admitted and consoled them. The Ministers handed over cheques of Rs 10,000 each to all the injured, which was announced by the State Government earlier in the day.

Later, Mr Rao visited the house of one of the deceased, Lakshmi of Vijayawada, and handed over the ex-gratia amount of Rs one lakh to the victim's family members. He also assured another Rs one lakh from Chief Minister's relief fund and 'apadbhandu' scheme, besides employment to one of her family members in his department. He also ensured a house site or house under the JNNURM scheme.

Addressing the presspersons, after a review meeting held with the Krishna district Collector Navin Mittal and Police Commissioner C V Anand, the Minister said an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh each would be given to the family of all the other deceased persons and another Rs one lakh each under Chief Minister's relief fund and the 'appabhandu' scheme.

Mr Ratnakar Rao said the Chief Minister had taken the stampede incident seriously and hence abolished the temple trust board and temple rennovation committee with immediate effect.

Stringent action would be taken against the officials if they were found guilty, based on the inquiry reports which were expected in 15 days time, he added. The Minister said a permanent executive officer for the temple would be appointed within a week.

Rural Water Supply Minister Pinamaneni Venkateswara Rao said if necessary the injured persons would be shifted to Corporate Hospitals for better treatment and the expenditure would be borne by the State Government.

UNI

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