Kerala Varsity stampede: Govt seeks reports from VC, Principal Secy Higher Education

Apart from four deaths, over 50 people were also injured, some of whom are critical

Kochi: After four students lost their lives in a stampede at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kerala's Higher Education Minister R Bindu has asked the Principal Secretary of Higher Education and the varsity Vice Chancellor to submit their inquiry reports.

The stampede happened during a music tech festival at the CUSAT on Saturday evening. Apart from four deaths, over 50 people were also injured, some of whom are critical.

"Proper guidelines are being issued in order to avoid such incidents in future. And we will take all precautionary measures. This is a usual practice the university uses to conduct tech fests and university competitions. This is the first time a tragic incident has occurred," Bindu said.

"So now we will find out the reasons and we'll try to avoid incidents in future. Yeah, they are conducting an inquiry. I have already ordered the Principal Secretary, Higher education and the University Vice Chancellor to submit their reports after that we will give the details," she added.

Meanwhile, Kerala's Law Minister P Rajeev detailing the tragic incident, said, "This is a shocking incident. We lost three students and one outsider. This happened in Kerala for the first time. It's an unexpected thing. We came and visited all the patients in the ward. Two patients are in the ICU. Two students are in the ICU of another hospital... We are trying our best to give them the best treatment."

"The government has taken all steps to coordinate all these activities. Police have taken the rescue operations whenever they get the information. And the health minister is directly involved in this. Coordinating all treatment facilities not only in the medical colleges but in the private hospitals also," added P Rajeev.

Rajeev further said that they have decided to conduct a comprehensive inquiry while the university has already conducted a preliminary inquiry in the incident.
"We have decided to conduct a comprehensive inquiry with regard to this incident. On the basis of that inquiry, we can reach a conclusion... The university has conducted a preliminary inquiry. And they have decided to conduct this inquiry by the syndicate subcommittee and the CM today, just after this incident, we convened a cabinet meeting," said P Rajeev while talking to ANI.

One of the deceased has been identified as Ann Rifta and currently her mother is in Italy as she has gone there to meet the education expenses of her daughter.
For now, 16 people have been discharged from the Kinder Hospital, while two are in the ICU.

The postmortem of four deceased will be conducted today at Kalamassery Medical College and Ernakulam General Hospital and later their bodies will be handed over to the relatives.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) M R Ajith Kumar called the incident a "freak accident" and said that the sudden rains in the area drove the huge crowd of students to the stampede since all of the students tried to take cover from the rainfall.

An eyewitness to the whole situation at the university, Jalsan says, "This happened around 6:50 pm. When I arrived here, three to four students were taken to the hospital. It was drizzling. Students rushed in and due to steep steps and pushing, this happened."

( Source : ANI )
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