Rumour of food running out at school leads to near-stampede in Delhi's Jahangirpuri

Complaint lodged against Jahangirpuri resident: govt. official

April 20, 2020 04:06 am | Updated 10:51 am IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 19/04/2020: Stampede at ba food distribution centre in Jahangirpuri of Friday as people rushed to queue up for dinner. A rumour had been spread that food was running out,  a senior official said. Photo: Special Arrangement

NEW DELHI, 19/04/2020: Stampede at ba food distribution centre in Jahangirpuri of Friday as people rushed to queue up for dinner. A rumour had been spread that food was running out, a senior official said. Photo: Special Arrangement

A near-stampede ensued at a school, currently acting as a food distribution centre, in Jahangirpuri on Friday when locals rushed inside its gates after a “rumour spread that food had run out”.

Ashwini Bagadi, a local Congress leader, said similar situations take place daily with around 100 to 150 people left wanting food.

‘No shortage of food’

However, a senior government official rejected the claim and said there has never been a shortage of food or staff at the location.

He also said nearly 500 to 600 people are fed daily at the centre.

‘Anti-social element’

The official said the chaos took place because an “anti-social element” had spread a rumour that food had run out at the centre.

Additionally, the school’s principal had shut the compound’s gate as people were regularly queuing up three hours prior to dinner, which is served at 6 p.m..

A video of the incidentshows people in masks or cloth tied around their faces racing towards the food distribution point soon after the gates opened.

People are seen pushing against each other, falling over, and rushing despite the chaos, to get in line.

Social distancing

Later, they can be seen maintaining social distancing. The official said a local, who had allegedly spread the rumour, had earlier complained about the location of the centre.

A police complaint has been registered against the accused, the official said.

Apart from this, the gate would remain open from now on and the locals have been requested to queue up only at 5 p.m.

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