Panel to 'look into' Pushkar stampede

Vijayawada: Amidst allegations of poor arrangements made at the Godavari Maha Pushkaralu and graft in taking up projects worth several thousands of crores, the state government will order a probe by constituting a cabinet subcommittee soon.

Endowments minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao announced this in the Assembly here on Wednesday. He said that as many as 28 devotees were killed in the stampede, of which 27 died on the spot, during the inauguration of the event at Pushkar ghat in Rajahmundry on July 14, 2015, while another devotee died after a few days while undergoing treatment.

Referring to the report of the one-man commission headed by retired High Court judge justice C.Y. Somajayulu, the minister stated that as the previous Telugu Desam regime had turned publicity crazy and had appealed to the people to take a holy dip in the Godavari river at the auspicious time of 6.26 am, a large number of devotees tried to follow it scrupulously resulting in a mad rush to enter the Pushkar ghat to take the dip.

In the report, he criticised the government for failing to fix responsibility on any person and instead blaming the devotees for being too sentimental. In the report, he also said that there were many lapses in the way work was commissioned for the Godavari Maha Pushkaralu.

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