Nellore: Preliminary investigation has revealed that the suffocation and high pressure caused the death of eight people in a stampede at Kandukur. Bodies of all the deceased have been sent to their native places after postmortem.
Preliminary investigation conducted by Kandukur General Hospital doctors revealed that people died due to suffocation and high pressure. Nellore police have registered a case under section 144.
The deceased have been identified as Devineni Ravindra Babu (Atmakur), K Yanadi (Atmakur), Y Vijay (Ulavapadu), K Raja (Kandukur), M Chinakondayya (Gullapalem), Purushotham (Kandukur), G Madhubabu (Kandukur), and Rajeswari (Kandukur). Eight injured have been discharged from the hospital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the injured.
What happened at Kandukur?
As a part of the ongoing 'Idhem Karma Mana Rastraniki' campaign, TDP chief N Chandra Babu Naidu conducted a road show at Kandukur town in the Nellore district on December 28. At around 7.30 pm, Naidu reached the NTR circle road for a public meeting. Thousands of people had already gathered at the venue.
TDP campaign team tried to change the route and navigate through narrow lanes. With flexy banners, and vehicles parked in the narrow lanes, a stampede-like situation occurred, and several people crammed near the Gundamkatta open drainage canal.
According to the police, though the drain was not deep, it had no proper protection wall. People fell into the canal causing suffocation and injuries. Of the 20 people who fell into the drain, two died on the spot. Few died in the hospital. The injured were sent to Kandukur General hospital.
Naidu immediately stopped his roadshow and visited the hospital. He announced Rs 10 lakh financial assistance to the next of kin of the deceased and free education for their children through NTR Trust. "There was an ice cream cart and vehicles near the canal. While a few fell into the canal, some suffocated after vehicles rolled over them. We went in a group for the meeting. My father-in-law, who was on the other side, died", said a family member of the deceased.
Ruling party leaders blame Naidu
YSRCP party leaders blamed Naidu for the death of eight during the public meeting. "TDP conducted the meeting in a narrow lane. TDP focused on getting drone shots to show that a huge crowd attended the meeting, which resulted in a stampede," said Agriculture Minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy.
He alleged that in 2015, Naidu was also responsible for the death of 29 people in a stampede during Godavari Pushkar.