Kerala court directs government to probe Sabarimala stampede

Monday, January 17, 2011

KOCHI - A deeply concerned Kerala High Court Monday asked the state government to submit by Thursday a report on the stampede near the Sabarimala shrine in which 102 pilgrims perished.

A division bench of Justices Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and P. Bhavadasan, which has handling all cases relating to the devasoms (department which runs the affairs of the temples in the state), took suo motu cognisance of the stampede as the court opened proceedings.

The court asked the state government to submit a report on what led to the tragedy and also asked whether there was proper coordination between the home, forest and the devasom departments.

The high court has on several occasions cautioned the state government on the need for conducting the Sabarimala pilgrimage in a proper and planned manner. The division bench appeared displeased the way things are being run with regards to the pilgrimage.

Successive state governments have ignored two previous reports on the pilgrimage - one prepared in 1992 and the most recent one in 2007 submitted by Justice (Retd) K.S. Paripoornan, who submitted 70 recommendations, none of which has been implemented.

The Crime Branch of the state police, which has begun its probe, has been stay put at the accident site and has started collecting evidences about what happened at Pulumedu, about 35 km from the shrine where the stampede took place Friday night.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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