The Kerala High Court had asked for a detailed explanation on how the stampede occured in Pullumedu from the police, forest and temple affairs department officials. The Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) submitted their reports today (Jan 20).
The police report washed their hands of the tragedy and said that they did the best in their capacity to take control of the huge influx of pilgrims. They also added that they did not have permission to undertake complete security measures since the area (Pullumedu) is part of a tiger reserve. They also published their incompetence when they revealed that there was not enough policemen to handle the crowd. The report says that there were 279 policemen were assigned to handle lakhs of pilgrims.
The unrestricted entry of vehicles into the narrow hilly path is also considered one of the key factors leading to a mishap of such magnitude. The Kerala Forest Department cited that its earlier warnings to regulate vehicles like jeeps and autorickshaws had been largely ignored by the Travancore Devaswom Board and other agencies, Department sources said.