Report submitted in Sabarimala stampede
Sabarimala report was submitted to Kerala High court today. Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose and Travancore Devaswom Board filed reports on the Pullumedu stampede that claimed lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims.india Updated: Jan 20, 2011 17:09 IST
Complying with the deadline set by the Kerala High Court, the state police and Travancore Devaswom Board today filed reports before it on the stampede at Pullumedu that claimed the lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims.
Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose and the Board filed the reports before a division bench comprising justices Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and P S Gopinathan.
Both the board and the state government shrugged responsibilty for the incident.
Travancore Devaswom Board in the report mentioned that they did not have permission to provide facilities as the tragedy spot does not come under trust.
On the other hand, Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose's report has blamed forest department for issuing passes to 1,400 vehicles when there was no regulated parking and infrastructure.
Also, according to report there were dim lighting up on the hills. Inspite of the spot or the base camp being an open space there were no lighting.
Expressing displeasure over neglect of its warnings on the safety of Sabarimala pilgrims, the bench had on Monday rapped the state government and directed police, forest department and TDB officials to file reports on the tragedy by January 20.
The hill shrine attracts millions of devotees during the two-month pilgrimage season from mid-November.
The bench had recalled that it had asked the authorities earlier this month to regulate the flow of pilgrims to avoid disasters like the stampede. It had observed that there had been lack of co-ordination among various departments involved in the conduct of the festival at Sabarimala.
"We want to know what had happened. Explain how the mishap occurred," the judges had said while issuing the direction.
'The stampede had occurred at Pullumedu on January 14 as devotees were returning after witnessing the 'Makara Jyothi' (celestial light).
Forest department sources said earlier that total neglect of its repeated warnings against unregulated entry of vehicles into the narrow hill route at Pullumedu was a vital factor for the tragedy.
The department had said it had been under pressure from state agencies, the temple board, lobby of vehicle operators and local politicians to allow traffic into the sensitive route at Pullumedu, closed a few years ago.