Warnings ignored: Sabarimala stampede report

Kochi: Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Thursday filed reports before the Kerala High Court on the stampede at Pullmedu in Vandiperiyar in idukki district which claimed the lives of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims.

The report was filed before the division bench comprising Justice Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P S Gopinathan.

Expressing displeasure over neglect of warnings on the safety of Sabarimala pilgrims, the bench had on Monday pulled up the state government and directed Police, Forest department and board officials to file reports by today.

The bench had on Jan 5 asked the authorities to regulate the flow of pilgrims to avoid disasters like stampede and had observed that there had been lack of co-ordination among various departments involved in conduct of the festival at Sabarimala, which attracts millions of pilgrims during the two-month long season from mid-Novermber.

`We want to know what had happened. Explain how the mishap occurred`, the judges had said while issuing the direction.

The stampede had occurred on Jan 14 as devotees were returning after witnessing the `Makara Jyothi` (celestial light) at Pullmedu in Vandiperiyar in Idukki district.