Bengaluru: Two senior citizens, including a woman, who were waiting since Wednesday night to collect free coupons for provisions, died on Thursday morning at Mittaganahalli near Yalahanka. While the police said they died after developing breathing problems, it is also alleged that they died due to a stampede.
The deceased have been identified as Anwar Pasha, 75, of Chittor, and Rehmathunnisa, 65, of Chikkaballapura. Police said that Syed Asif, a businessman and a resident of Shivajinagar, runs a convention hall at Mittaganahalli. Every year he distributes provisions a month before Ramzan and issues tokens in advance to poor and needy.
He had circulated messages on WhatsApp that he will be distributing provisions for around 3,000 people for next year’s Ramzan. In response around 5,000 had gathered at the convention hall to collect coupons. Many of them queued up at Wednesday afternoon itself.
“Pasha and Rehmathunnisa had also come last evening and were waiting to collect coupons. Around 9.45 am, they developed breathing problem and collapsed. They were rushed to the hospital, where they died after sometime,” the police said.
However, it is alleged that the two died due to a commotion and stampede.
“There were more than 5,000 people and the queue was more than one-and-a-half kilometres long. When they started issuing coupons, people started pushing each other and the crowd became unruly. This led to commotion and Rehmathunnisa and Pasha collapsed and got trampled upon. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were declared brought dead,” a woman, who was there to collect coupons, alleged. However, the police denied this version and said the cause of death will be known once they get the post-mortem report....