Police had set up barricades to control the huge rush, but they broke and caused a stampede.

40 injured in Sabarimala stampede after sanctum santorum opens on Sunday eveningFile Photo: Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
news News Monday, December 26, 2016 - 07:43

At least 40 pilgrims were injured, three of them seriously, in a stampede at the Sabarimala temple on Sunday night after a barricade gave way in the huge rush, authorities said.

State Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that the situation has been brought under control.

"All the medical attention is being given to the injured and the situation is fully under control," Surendran told reporters at the temple.

According to the temple authorities, with Monday being a key day in the two-month-long Sabarimala festival, there was an unprecedented rush of devotees on Sunday and the incident occurred when the sanctum santorum of the temple was opened late Sunday evening.

To control the crowd, police had set up barricades but on account of the huge rush, the barricade broke and caused a stampede, in which the pilgrims got injured.

The temple authorities swung into action and the injured were moved to the local hospital while the three who suffered serious injuries have been moved to the Kottayam Medical College hospital.

Maintaining that there were no lapses from the part of the police, DGP Loknath Behera said that timely intervention by the police had ensured that the situation was under control. Earlier, a special branch report had pointed out that there were only 9 police officers who were deployed at the temple, who had in turn failed to effectively manage the crowd, leading to the mishap. 

Refuting such allegations, the DGP has now sought for a detailed report from IG Sreejith on the matter. 

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