Ker Govt announces judicial probe into stampede

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Vandiperiyar (Ker), Jan 15 (PTI) Kerala Chief MinisterV S Achuthanandan today announced a judicial inquiry into thestampede at nearby Pulumedu that claimed the lives of 104Sabarimala pilgrims.

Achuthanandan, who flew down by helicopter to Kumaliwhere the bodies of the victims were brought, also announced asolatium of Rs five lakh for the families of each of thevictims.

The seriously injured would be given Rs 50,000 andthose with minor injuries Rs 25,000 each.

The Government would meet the flight and roadtransport expenses for ferrying the bodies of victims to theirhome towns.

The Chief Minister said the government would try toavail the services of a sitting High Court judge for theprobe.

He also reviewed with cabinet colleagues on the spotarrangements to transport the bodies as most of the deceasedwere from neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka andAndhra Pradesh.

The Government has announced a three-day mourning inthe state.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee andDefence Minister A K Antony have cancelled their engagementsin Kerala scheduled for tomorrow in view of the tragedy.

104 Sabarimala devotees were killed and over 40injured in the stampede when a jeep crashed into pilgrims atPulmedu in Kerala''s Idukki district last night.

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