Hamid Ansari, Chidambaram condole death of Sabarimala pilgrims

New Delhi, Jan 15 (ANI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram have expressed deep shock and sent their condolences to the families of those killed in the Sabarimala stampede.

Vice President Ansari in his message said: "I am deeply grieved to learn about the unfortunate stampede during the Sabarimala pilgrimage in Kerala yesterday that resulted in the death of around hundred pilgrims and caused injuries to many others."

"I wish speedy recovery to those injured. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the stampede and may the Almighty give them the strength to withstand this loss," he added.

Home Minister Chidambaram in his message said: "I am shocked and grieved by the terrible tragedy that has consumed the lives of over a hundred pilgrims near Sabarimala. I offer my sincere condolences to the bereaved families."

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condoled the death of Sabarimala pilgrims.

At least 102 people were killed and 60 injured in a stampede while returning from the Sabarimala shrine when a jeep crashed into the pilgrims at Pulmedu in Kerala's Idukki district.

At least 60 people have been injured, 15 of them seriously, in the worst tragedy that struck Sabarimala pilgrims in a decade.

Dr Singh sanctioned a relief of Rs one lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the stampede and Rs 50,000 to those injured from the Prime Minister's relief fund.

Defence Minister A K Antony has offered Kerala government all help from defence forces for rescue operations.

The Southern Naval Command dispatched an emergency medical team to the accident site at Sabarimala.

Most of the victims who perished were from Tamil Nadu, Andhdra Pradesh and Karnataka. They were returning home through the forest route after the Makarajyoti darshan, considered a celestial phenomenon, at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. (ANI)

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