Andhra police book organisers for Guntur stampede

andhrapradesh |  IANS  | Published : Mon, Jan 02, 2023, 02:44 PM

Amaravati, Jan 2 (IANS) Police in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur town have lodged a case in connection with Sunday's stampede during an event which claimed the lives of three women and injured 13 others.

A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered at Nallapadu police station against organisers Vuyyuru Srinivas and others

The police which initially registered a case under section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code later added section 304 (II) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The case was registered on a complaint by one Rambabu.

The stampede occurred on a ground near JKC College in Guntur, where Vuyyuru Foundation had organised distribution of Sankranti gifts.

According to the police, the tragedy struck a short while after Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu left the venue after inaugurating the programme.

While one woman died on the spot, two others succumbed at THE Government General Hospital (GGH).

Four women are undergoing treatment at a private hospital, where one them is stated to be in critical condition.

Other women with simple injuries were undergoing treatment at GGH.

Meanwhile, an autopsy was conducted on bodies of three victims at GGH on Monday and later the authorities handed over the bodies to their families.

The deceased were identified as G. Ramadevi (52), Syed Asiya (40)and Jaan Be (50).

The stampede occurred as a larger than expected crowd gathered. Police said the organisers had informed them that 10,000 were expected and they had made the arrangements accordingly. However, 15,000 to 20,000 people turned up to receive the kits comprising saree and groceries.

Though police had suggested to the organisers to open 30 counters, they arranged only 15 counters. They also failed to deploy sufficient number of volunteers.

Vuyyuru Foundation has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of the deceased. It will also bear the expenses towards treatment of the injured.

Chandrababu Naidu, who expressed shock over the incident, announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each.

Chief Minister Y S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to every injured.

"It is really painful that three persons died in the stampede that took place after I left the venue as the programme was completed. I attended the programme only to encourage that voluntary organisation which is trying to help the poor," Chandrababu Naidu said.

Home Minister V. Rajini, who visited GGH on Sunday night, blamed Naidu for the deaths. She alleged that people were losing lives due to his publicity craze.

This is the second such incident in less than a week.

Eight persons were killed during Naidu's road show in Kandukur town of Nellore district on December 28.

TDP state president Atchen Naidu blamed the ruling Jagan government for the Guntur incident.

He asked if it was not the duty of the state government to provide proper security and manage the crowd when so many people were attending the programme for which the former chief minister was the chief guest.

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