Sabarimala stampede: Kerala govt to submit report before High Court

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 21 (ANI): Kerala Home Secretary Jaya Kumar will today file before the High Court a report on Sabarimala stampede, where 102 pilgrims lost their lives at Pullmedu in Idukki district last Friday.

This comes a day after the High Court came down heavily on the government for lack of co-ordination among various agencies invovled in Sabarimala pilgrimage.

The Home Secretary's report will contain the government's version of the causes of the tragedy.

Earlier, reacting to the reports, the court said it wants an explanation for why more than thousand vehicles were allowed on the precariously narrow path used by pilgrims on the day the tragedy took place.

The court has also sought an answer from the government with regard to the shops clutter in the same area, and wants to know whether they have been set up with permission.

Earlier on Monday, the court had expressed displeasure over neglect of warnings on the safety of Sabarimala pilgrims and directed the police, forest department and board officials to file reports on the concerned matter by Thursday.

The court had on January 5 asked the authorities to regulate the flow of pilgrims to avoid disasters like stampede and had observed that there had been lack of co-ordination among various departments involved in conduct of the festival at Sabarimala, which attracts pilgrims during the two-month long season beginning mid-November.

"We want to know what had happened. Explain how the mishap occurred," said the bench.

At least 102 people were killed and 60 injured in a stampede while returning from the Sabarimala shrine when a jeep crashed into the pilgrims at Pullmedu in Kerala"s Idukki district on Friday night.

Most of the victims, who perished were from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. They were returning home through the forest route after the Makarajyoti darshan, considered a celestial phenomenon, at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. (ANI)

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