One woman died while another was injured during a stampede at a function organised to distribute free ration to poor in Rohtak town of Haryana on Sunday evening. Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda, who was chief guest of the function, said he had left the venue few hours before the incident took place.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered apart from an FIR against the organisers, who run an Ayurveda hospital in the town.
The deceased has been identified as Guddi Devi, 50, while another woman is under treatment in Rohtak’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS).
Sources said that the incident took place about 4 pm on Sunday when about 2,000 persons had gathered to get free ration on an internal road in Rohtak town. Sources claimed that the incident took place about 20-feet away from the railway track where the function is held every month by blocking the internal road. Stampede took place when the women rushed to take the ration from the camp. “Because of lack of space and poor arrangements, a few women fell and received injuries. Guddi Devi was also among those women who had fallen on the ground. An iron grill also hit her during the stampede. But nobody cared about her following the stampede which led to her death,” said a source.
Rohtak ASP Anshu Singla told The Indian Express that an FIR has been registered on the complaint of the family of the victim. “A probe is going on.”
Hooda told The Indian Express that he had left the venue between 1.30 and 2 pm to attend another function in a neighbouring village. “The responsibility should be fixed on the administration and the organisers who were responsible to make proper arrangements before holding such function,” said Hooda. “The administration should have checked security arrangements before granting permission to hold such a function” he added.
Asked whether administration had given permission for the event, Rohtak DC Yash Garg said, “Being Sunday, I can’t check the records exactly because sometime such permissions are issued from the SDM office and sometime from my office. Facts will come in light during the magisterial inquiry.” Garg told The Indian Express, adding that he came to know about the incident at 6 pm.
Hooda said a local social worker every month organises a function to distribute ration to the poor by giving advertisements in the local newspapers, and this month he was invited for the event. In Sunday’s function, the organisers even sought votes for Congress. Other Congress leaders were also present on the occasion.