Reddy, Naidu condole death of Sabarimala pilgrims

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Hyderabad, Jan 15 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NKiran Kumar Reddy and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naiduexpressed shock and grief over the death of over 102 Ayyappadevotees in a stampede near Sabarimala in Kerala.

Preliminary information reaching here said 18 of thedeceased were devotees from Andhra Pradesh.

The Chief Minister directed the state governmentofficials to get in touch with their counterparts in Kerala tobring the bodies of deceased to the state and extend requiredmedical aid to those injured.

A help desk has been opened in the state Secretariat herefor co-ordinating relief measures.

Principal Secretary (Political) R M Gonela informed thatthe Kerala government has been requested to extend allrequired help while efforts were on to secure full detailsrelated to devotees hailing from AP who were killed or injuredin the tragic incident.

Chandrababu wanted the state government to immediatelysend a team of officials to Kerala to monitor the situationand bring the bodies of deceased to the state. He urged theKerala government to improve facilities in and aroundSabarimalai to ensure that such incidents did not recur infuture.

He also demanded payment of an ex-gratia of Rs five lakheach to the kin of those killed and Rs one lakh to thoseinjured.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member andstate secretary B V Raghavulu expressed shock over theSabarimalai incident and extended his sympathies to thebereaved families.

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