Kerala police begins probe into Sabarimala tragedy

Kerala police begins probe into Sabarimala tragedy

Thiruvananthapuram/Bangalore: The probe by the crime branch wing of Kerala police to ascertain the cause for the Sabarimala stampede that claimed 102 lives, began on Sunday.

Sleuths visited the accident site and gathered evidences. Forensic experts also visited Pullmedu where the mishap occurred on Friday, officials said.

Besides, the crime branch probe, the Kerala government had also decided to hold a judicial inquiry into the mishap that occurred when over 100 people returning from the shrine were killed when a jeep went out of control and ploughed into devotees in a narrow forest stretch at Pullumedu in Idukki district, triggering a stampede.

Initial reports stated that a minor accident involving a jeep and an autorickshaw led to a commotion triggering the stampede.

However Karnataka law minister Suresh Kumar in Bangalore blamed “negligence" of the Kerala government for the stampede, saying that they took “things for granted".

“We have the recent example of Kumbh mela where nearly one-and-a-half crore people took bath in Haridwar. We had excellent arrangement. So I think this is sure negligence on the part of the (Kerala) government departments and taking things for granted. Ultimately, its a very costly incident..," Kumar said.

The minister remarked that various state governments have earlier successfully managed similar congregations.

Lack of basic amenities , coupled with insufficient police deployment were blamed for the tragedy that struck home bound pilgrims the second time in recent years.

In 1999 more than 50 devotees died after a landslide at the site.