STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

AP Government Puts Blame on Pilgrims, Says Rush to Reach Ghat Caused Stampede

Published: 17th July 2015 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2015 06:42 AM   |  A+A-

RAJAHMUNDRY/HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government has reportedly blamed pilgrims for the stampede at the Pushkar Ghat in Rajahmundry that claimed 27 lives and left over 50 injured on the day the 12-day fete opened — brushing aside allegations that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s prolonged presence had led to the tragedy.

“The sudden surge of pilgrims was the main reason for the human tragedy,” East Godavari district collector H Arun Kumar is said to have claimed in his preliminary report submitted to the State government, despite confirmation from even senior police officials that the pilgrims had arrived at the ghat as early as 2 am and the numbers kept swelling by the hour. The preliminary report was forwarded to the Union Home Ministry and the State Human Rights Commission. In his report, the collector is learnt to have explained that as the gates of the main ghat were opened two hours after the onset of Pushkarams, the place was packed with a large number of devotees.

As soon as the gates were opened, the waiting crowd surged ahead causing a stampede, he reportedly said, without bringing into picture the reason for the two-hour delay.

Interestingly, in a slip of tongue, Deputy Chief Minister N Chinna Rajappa, during an interaction with reporters in West Godavari district, conceded the inadequate number of barricades at the main pushkar ghat.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, YSRC and the Congress, reiterated their demand for Naidu’s resignation and held him personally responsible for the stampede.

“Official reports clearly said the stampede was caused due to the two-hour delay. The CM was at the ghat during that time performing rituals and posing for a documentary film. But, the State government has filed a case of suspicious deaths and not deaths due to negligence,” YSRC leader K Parthasarathi   said.

More from Andhra Pradesh

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp