TDB, Government shirking responsibility: Kummanam

via Newindpress published on April 20, 2009

PATHANAMTHITTA: Hindu Aikyavedi general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan has said that the Travancore Devaswom Board and the State Government are running away from owning up responsibility for the death of a pilgrim at Sabarimala in a stampede on the Vishu day and trying not to pay compensation to the victim by saying that the death was caused by heart ailment.


Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Kummanam Rajasekharan, who visited Sabarimala on Thursday to make an on the spot assessment of the situation, said that the revelation by the TDB and the Government was baseless and with the sinister motive of not paying any compensation to the family of Anilkumar of Andhra Pradesh, who was on his 38th year of Sabarimala pilgrimage.


Kummanam said that lack of adequate arrangements, especially adequate number of police personnel to meet the unprecedented rush during Vishukani darsan, caused  the stampede and the subsequent death in front of the Holy Steps at Lower Thirumuttam.


The pilgrims who accompanied the deceased person stated that the body had  several marks of trampling in the wake of the stampede, Kummanam said.


Aikyavedi to approach Human Rights panel: The Hindu Aikyavedi would file a petition before the State Human Rights Commission for the failure of the TDB and the Government in providing adequate arrangements for the lakhs of pilgrims who used to come for Vishukani darsan, Kummanam said.


Providing basic facilities to those who come for the pilgrimage is the fundamental responsibility of the authorities concerned, he said.


Judicial probe sought: Kummanam urged the Government to order a judicial probe into the entire episode so that the people would know what was the cause of the incident.


He said the authorities committed an unpardonable offence by not making any arrangement to send the body of the victim to his native place at Gundur in Andhra Pradesh.


The relatives of the victim were forced to spent a huge amount of Rs 51,000, including Rs 3,000 for carrying it to Pampa, Rs 8,000 at Pampa Government dispensary and Rs 40,000 for mobile mortuary, he said.

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