RAJAHMUNDRY: A day after a deadly stampede claimed 27 lives and left more than 50 pilgrims injured, the situation at the pushkar ghats in Rajahmundry appeared normal on Wednesday with devotees arriving and leaving in an orderly fashion.
With Tuesday’s nightmare fresh in mind, officials made sure nothing went wrong — police staggered the crowds to different ghats to prevent congestion at one place. As a result, the influx of pilgrims increased even at places like Kovvuru and Narasapuram. Wednesday being Adi Amavasya, an auspicious day for offering prayers to ancestors, added to the rush. However, the fallout of too much concentration on security had a telling effect on supply of food and water to pilgrims. The officials did not allow NGOs to supply food, water and butter milk free of cost. As a result, water bottles were sold at a premium of up to `25 each.
Meanwhile, AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu said a retired judge would inquire into the stampede. “Strict action will be taken based on his report. It appears sudden opening of gates led to the stampede,” he conceded.