Lapses led to tragedy: Opposition

Vandiperiyar (Ker), Jan 15 (PTI) Opposition leader OommenChandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala today blamed theLDF-led state government for the Sabarimala stampede whichclaimed over 100 lives at nearby Pullumedu.

Addressing reporters here, they said lack of properarrangements and lapses on the part of the government andrelated agencies in crowd management had caused the mishap.

"It was an unusual tragedy and the state government cannotshirk its responsibility from it. Though Sabarimala is one ofthe most significant pilgrim centres in South India, thegovernment was not serious enough while arranging facilitiesfor devotees along the forest route," they said.

No proper lighting or security arrangements were in placeat the tragedy zone. It should be enquired how such a streamof vehicles entered Pulumedu -- a tiger reserve region, theysaid.

Though land had been allotted by the Centre to set up abase camp for devotees at Vandiperiyar, the state governmenthad not taken steps to implement the same, they said.

They also asked the government to complete the inquiry ina time-bound manner and increase solatium to the victims'' nextof kin to at least Rs 10 lakh.

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