A day after a woman was killed in a stampede during a temple procession in Tiruvannamalai organised for the speedy recovery of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the government ordered the suspension of a police inspector for allegedly failing to control the crowd.
Former AIADMK minister ‘Agri’ S Krishnamurthy had organised the ‘milk pot procession’ at Pachaiamman temple in Tiruvannamalai town on Monday. More than 5,000 women had gathered at the temple for the event.
A senior police officer said the procession ended in a stampede after organisers repeatedly announced that the stainless steel pots distributed to carry milk for the procession need not be returned. “To grab the steel pots, women thronged the venue. The police did not expect such a situation,” the officer said.
According to the preliminary probe report of the police, the organisers planned to give away 5,001 milk pots to the participants. “The police were not informed about the event in advance. As it was announced that participants could take the brand new steel pots, there was a huge rush to collect the pots, which ended in the accident,” said the officer.
Another officer said they were alerted about the event just 45 minutes before the scheduled time. However, the police have not registered a case against Krishnamurthy and other AIADMK leaders.
Based on a direction from the DGP’s office, the officer said, Tiruvannamalai town police station inspector G Suresh was placed under suspension for failing to make arrangements for police protection and crowd control.
The stampede victim was identified as Kamalammal (60), who resides near Tiruvannamalai town, the officer said.