Collector rules out conspiracy in Congress rally accident

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Kochi, Mar 28 (UNI) Ruling out any conspiracy behind the Congress rally accident yesterday, Ernakulam District Collector A P M Mohammed Hanish today said preliminary reports suggests that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the lorry driver.

Seven people were killed and 30 injured when a lorry ploughed through a Congress rally at Pothanikadu near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, last evening.

''As per the report of the Transport Deputy Commissioner, there has been no mechanical failure in the lorry and it can be presumed that the accident occurred due to the driver's negligence,'' Mr Hanish told UNI.

Certain District Congress Committee leaders were alleging 'foul play' in the accident in the rally, which was to be addressed by Congress leader V M Sudheeran and DCC President V J Poulose.

He said a report on the accident would be submitted to Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan this evening.

Meanwhile, State Ministers Mathew T Thomas, K P Rajendran and Mons Joseph, besides various Congress leaders and scores of people were accompanying the bodies of the seven people being taken in a mourning rally to Farmers' Bank Auditorium in Pothanikadu for people to pay their last respects. The last rites would be performed later in the day.

UNI MA GD MSJ HT1335

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