Godavari Pushkaralu stampede: VIP ritual built up crowds
Hyderabad: In the first report on the Rajahmundry stampede submitted to the state government on Wednesday, East Godavari district collector H. Arun Kumar hinted that the large crowd that had built up on Tuesday during the two hours between the inauguration of the Godavari Maha Pushkaralu and the time that people were allowed to enter the ghat was the reason for the tragedy.
The report submitted to Andhra Pradesh state government, a copy of which is available with this newspaper, states: “Heavy influx of pilgrims started increasing as time passed, by at about 8.30 am crowd from all directions started breaching the barricades set up for crowd management and attempted to move in various directions.
“The police and security personnel deployed there couldn’t control this flow in front of the Pushkar Ghat, the pivotal location of the event where the crowd from all directions had gathered. It resulted in a stampede at approximately (sic) 27 pilgrims were declared as ‘brought dead’ at the general hospital, Rajahmundry.”