The night of January fourteen leaves a lush of lament in the minds of people as there occurred an untoward incident which took the life of 102 Sabarimala pilgrims. This unfortunate incident happened in a place called Pullumedu which is few kilometers away from Sabarimala shrine, when large number of people squeezed themselves through the narrow forest stretch down the knoll after seeing the revered lantern called Makarajyothi. The wind of death swept away the life's of people from kerala ,Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh and Karnataka turning the valley to a graveyard. The corpse were piled up in the site which makes any human's tears overflow.
Rescue steps were hold back due to the remoteness of the tragedy occurred site and due to the heavy traffic hindering the movement of rescue vehicles. Reports says seven are heavily injured which may raise the death toll even further. Later, victims were taken to hospitals in Kumali.
Government has announced compensation of Rupees 0ne lakhs to the bereaved family member and rupees fifty thousands to those got injured in the stampede. V.S Achuthanandan, Kerala's Chief minister expressed his deep grief over this incident and assured all necessary relief measures.
Reasons for the tragedy
Digging for the reason of this miss hap leads to the finding that it was due to lack of proper safe guard measures and inadequate number of cops to control the pilgrims. People who were flocking panicked when a jeep speeded to them, and tried to pace themselves which resulted in stampede. The devotees of Lord Ayappa were going back to their homes after watching the celestial light(Makarajyothi) when the tragic incident occurred and most of the devotees hails from or neighbouring states Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. High court of Kerala intervened into this matter and asked the Government of Kerala to submit immediate report putting light into this issue. Jacob Punnoose ,DGP of police affirmed that report on this will be submitted on Thursday. Another investigative report was submitted by tiger reserve director Mr.Sukhla to the centre, chides on influx of huge number of vehicles and the utter disarray of vehicles parked. This reports evade from the allegation that the tragedy of this magnitude occurred due to the chain they have fixed as safety barrier.
The real reasons for this tragedy is still obscure and mudslinging between different departments and political parties continues which is a common scene whenever a tragedy occurs in Kerala . Time can only tell whether investigation team turns up with tangible solutions to avert such catastrophe in future.