Andhra stampede: Cops register FIR over Naidu\'s roadshow

Update: 2022-12-29 19:01 GMT
Former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu pays tributes and console family members of Gaddam Madhu, a victim of the stampede at Kandukur in Nellore district on Thursday. (Photo: By arrangement)

Tirupati: The Kandukur police registered a case under Section 174  CrPC over the stampede during the roadshow of Telugu Desam chief and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu near the NTR Circle in Kandukur town, Nellore district, on Wednesday night.

The stampede had claimed eight lives. Guntur range DIG Trivikram Varma along with Nellore SP Vijaya Rao and other police officials visited the spot on Thursday.

The DIG said a special police team headed by a deputy SP rank officer has been formed to investigate the reasons and identify the persons responsible for the stampede.

The police booked the case based on the complaint lodged by one of the injured.

The DIG said, “TD workers lit crackers despite restrictions. The public attempted to photograph Naidu and this led to jostling. The public meeting was originally planned for NTR Circle, but it was held near it, where the road was narrow.”

There would be no risk of a stampede had the gathering been held at NTR Circle, which has several access and exit options, the DIG averred.

According to Nellore SP Vijaya Rao, there was a sudden surge of the crowd, which resulted in the stampede. The public meeting was not held in the designated location and at the specified time.

“We gave permission for the roadshow and the meeting from 3pm to 7pm at the NTR Circle, but it was moved to a narrow lane close to it,” the SP said.

Sources in the police department said the TD leaders tried to change the roadshow route and navigate through narrow lanes. “With flexi banners, pushcarts and vehicles parked in the narrow lanes, a stampede-like situation occurred. People crowded near the Gundamkatta open drainage canal. Though the drain was not deep, it had no proper protection wall. People fell into the canal causing suffocation and injuries.”

TD leaders have blamed inadequate security for the incident. Local leaders said they had informed police that a large crowd was expected but cops failed to make proper arrangements. All the deceased in the stampede were TD activists, they said.

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