25 Pilgrims Injured in a Stampede at Sabarimala Temple in KeralaDecember 26, 2016 11:54
"At least 25 Ayyappa devotees, including 17 from Andhra Pradesh were injured, following a stampede near the Sabarimala temple in Kerala on Sunday night.Two devotees from Gorantla village of AP's Anantapur district are critical", said, doctors.
The stampede took place near Malikappuram Devi temple which is located near 200m from Ayyappa temple. As the idol in the temple was adorned with `Thanga Angi' jewels, there was the huge rush in the popular shrine. Due to the stampede temple was closed on Monday and now it will be only open on December 30th for the `Makara Vellukku' festival.
Those injured were rushed to hospitals located at Pamba and Kottayam. Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar confirmed that most of the injured were from Andhra Pradesh. He said, "police have launched crowd control measures."
Authorities also confirmed that two pilgrims from Narasaraopet in Guntur district were missing. Andhra Pradesh home minister Nimmakayala China Rajappa and information minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy called Kerala DGP Loknath Behera. They asked for his assistance to provide necessary medical help to all the injured pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters, Reddy said, "I have urged the Kerala government to provide transport to stranded pilgrims. The government is waiting for more details. Some pilgrims called families in Anantapur to say that several people were injured. Arrangements at Malikappuram Devi temple were inadequate."
Pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh first visited the Malikappuram shrine before proceeding to Ayyappa temple. The stampede happened minutes before the holy 'Thanga Angi' procession bearing ornaments of Lord Ayyappa arrived the temple.
The procession started from Aranmula Sree Parthasarthy temple four days before the mandala' puja.
(Video Source: ABN Telugu)
BY M. DIVYA SRI