Thiruvananthapuram: A commission that probed
the 2011 Pulmedu tragedy has found lapses on the part of
police, revenue and forests departments which resulted in the
death of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims.
Retd Judge M R Hariharan Nair presented the final report
on the Pulmedu tragedy, which occurred on January 14, 2011, to
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday evening.
The report said proper arrangements had not been made by
police on the route and the department failed to control
movement of pilgrims. Proper lighting was also not provided
along the route traversed by thousands of pilgrims every year.
Police did not remove parked vehicles on the way, which
created a bottleneck for fleeing pilgrims. The chain used to
control pilgrims was also not removed on time when the rush
came and several got entangled in it, it said.
The report criticises the poor response of the Rapid
Action Force at the time of the tragedy. The Revenue
department`s disaster management mechanism also did not
function properly and the Forests department had not made
arrangements for providing adequate facilities to pilgrims.
The Commission report urged the government to install
removable tower lights on the routes to Sabarimala during the
Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar said the recommendations
of the Commission would be implemented well ahead of the next
pilgrim season. Most of its 30 recommendations in the interim
report had already been implemented, he said.
Nair later told reporters the inquiry had ruled out the
theory that extremist forces were behind the stampede. The
lapses of the police department had mainly enhanced the scale
of the tragedy, he said.