High Court directs government to file report on stampede

Kochi, Jan 17 (PTI) The Kerala High Court todaydirected the state government to file a report beforeThursday on the stampede at Pullmedu that claimed the lives of102 Sabarimala pilgrims.

A division bench comprising justices ThottathilRadhakrishnan and P S Gopinathan directed police, forestdepartment and the Travancore Devaswom Board, which managesthe temple, to file reports on the causes that led to Friday''stragedy.

"We want to know what happened. Explain how the mishapoccurred", the bench, which is monitoring the affairs relatingto the Sabarimala pilgrimage during the festival season, saidwhile giving the direction.

The court wanted to know the steps have been taken bythe government to provide help to the injured and also tothose stranded in the area after the accident, the judgessaid.

Besides the bench sought to know how the incidenthappened as there was already a court direction to takenecessary steps to control the crowd.

102 persons were killed and 50 injured in the stampedeat Pullumedu near the famous Sabarimala hill shrine.

Kerala government has announced a judicial inquiryinto tragedy that struck home bound pilgrims mostly from TamilNadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Lack of basic amenities like lighting, water supplyand camping facilities, coupled with insufficient policedeployment were blamed for the tragedy.

Though Pullumedu route has been used by pilgrims fromTamil Nadu for long, the area had never been sufficientlycovered by security and crowd management plans of Sabarimalapilgrimage.

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