KOCHI: The former principal of Cusat has accused the police of trying to shield the varsity’s registrar and others from the fallout of the stampede that took place moments before a music concert at the institution last year. He has also sought a judicial inquiry to reveal the truth behind the tragic episode.
Dileep Kumar Sahoo, who was removed as principal of the School of Engineering shortly after the November 25 tragedy that left four, including three students, dead, informed the Kerala High Court on Thursday that police’s report on the stampede deaths revealed an attempt to protect and salvage the registrar and higher authorities, in their place, to target and somehow make a scapegoat out of him and other faculty members of the event’s organising committee.
In his submission, Sahoo said the registrar is the exclusive custodian of informing the police about campus events and ensure adequate security measures are taken. The police’s finding that 4,000 people were present for the event was incorrect, he said.
The Thrikkakara ACP had filed an action-taken report saying police were not intimated about the music programme, and that it was conducted without adequate security arrangements, precautions, and planning. The report said there were about 4,000 people in the auditorium, even though it could accommodate only 1,000 people.
Sahoo said he had urged the registrar to ensure adequate security and police presence to manage the crowd. He produced a copy of his letter to the registrar. The vice-chancellor had sanctioned the event as proven by the November 2 letter issued by the university engineer to the student convenor of the event.
Sahoo said the auditorium could accommodate 1,500 sitting, and over 2,000 standing spectators. He said there were 400-500 people in the auditorium and 600-1,000 people outside; the ones outside distributed at different places owing to criss-crossing roads.