Sushma visits stampede site, promises to raise issue in LS

Vandiperiyar (Ker), Jan 19 (PTI) Alleging that lapses onpart of the Kerala government were mainly responsible for thestampede that killed 102 Sabarimala pilgrims on January 14,BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today said her party would raise theissue in Parliament.

Visiting the stampede spot at Pullumedu and nearby Kumilitown, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha toldreporters that the mishap could have been avoided if thegovernment and the concerned agencies had not neglected thereport on a similar tragedy that struck Pampa in 1999.

The recommendations of the judicial commission thatprobed the 1999 stampede which claimed 52 lives at Pampa hadmade several significant recommendations to improve the safetyand crowd control during the pilgrimage season, but they hadbeen put in cold storage, she alleged.

Swaraj said that instead of mere investigations andinquiries, concrete steps were needed to avoid such mishaps infuture.

She also said her party would actively support the demandfor declaration of Sabarimala as a National Pilgrim Centre,which would ensure the Union Government''s involvement indeveloping facilities for the hill shrine.

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