Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said that the stampede at Pullupara in Idukki district on Makara Vilakku day was an unexpected incident and the government would bring out the whole truth which led to the tragedy.
Speaking to media persons at Pullupara after visiting the accident site on Monday, Mr. Balakrishnan said the government was making all efforts to get a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court for the judicial inquiry, which has already been announced. The report of the crime branch inquiry will be made available within the next few days, he said.
However, the important thing was not to wait for the reports of these inquiries, but to join hands to work for the conduct of the pilgrim season at Sabarimala in an orderly manner, he said. Mr. Balakrishnan wanted all government departments and other stake holders to work together for the purpose.
Giving a clean chit to the police department, the Home Minister said 270 men were deployed during the period. They had covered the entire area from Kumily to Pulmedu. He rejected the allegations of police negligence in crowd management and said the accident was unexpected.
The functioning of the shops in the area was not new phenomenon.
Neither was the presence of large number of vehicles. However, the government was not averse to reviewing the issues in the light of the accident, he said.
Mr. Balakrishna also stressed the need to provide better communication facilities for the police force in the light of the recent accident.
Reacting to another question, he said that since the area came under Periyar Tiger Reserve, the Central government’s stipulations had to be followed when it came to taking up development programmes. This had been a major impediment, he added. The State government would take all efforts to fulfil its obligations for the development of the area which has been mentioned in the Sabarimala Master Plan, he said.
The Home Minister was accompanied by Jacob Punnoose, Director-General of Police, B. Sandhya, Inspector-General of Police and E. Bijimol, MLA.