Tragedy appears to be a freak incident, says ADGP

November 26, 2023 12:06 am | Updated 01:23 am IST - KOCHI

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) M.R. Ajith Kumar said that the stampede at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) that killed four appeared to be a freak accident.

Speaking to the media after the visiting the spot, Mr. Kumar said the auditorium seemed to have a capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 and was only partly filled at the time of the tragedy. The organisers were seemingly admitting people inside in batches after verifying the passes though it remains to be verified.

The attendees were supposed to turn up in a pre-issued black t-shirt. The volunteers were checking and allowing those who were wearing black t-shirt, he said.

Mr. Kumar said when it rained people probably tried to push their way in. In the ensuing melee, some fell on the steps, and people stomped on them following which four ended up dead. Hence, it appears to be a freak accident, which otherwise would not have happened.

He said the organisers had not informed the police about the event. District Police Chief (Kochi City) A. Akbar also said that the organisation of such an event had not come to his notice.

Mr. Kumar said six policemen who were members of the squad of the Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner of Police were present at the spot. A control room vehicle was also there. He said as per preliminary assessment, the sudden rain triggered the incident. He added that had the door been open, the incident would not have happened. It was closed for restricted entry.

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