Bangalore, Jan 16 (Agencies): Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar on Sunday blamed "negligence" of the Kerala government for the Sabarimala stampede, saying that they took "things for granted".

"We have the recent example of Kumbh mela where nearly one-and-a-half crore people took bath in Haridwar. We had excellent arrangement. So I think this is sure negligence on the part of the (Kerala) government departments and taking things for granted. Ultimately, its a very costly incident..," Kumar told a private news channel.

The minister remarked that various state governments have earlier successfully managed similar congregations.

In the worst disaster to hit Sabarimala pilgrims, 102 devotees were killed and 50 injured in a stampede at Pullumedu near the famous hill-top shrine, raising questions about inadequate infrastructure and poor police deployment.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan has announced a judicial inquiry into the tragedy and declared a solatium of Rs five lakh each for families of those killed.

Lack of basic amenities like lighting, water supply and camping facilities, coupled with insufficient police deployment were blamed for the tragedy that struck home bound pilgrims.


Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia to stampede victims: Andhra CM

Hyderabad, Jan 16 (Agencies): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed the District Collectors to pay an ex-gratia amount of Rs 1 lakh to the families of the
deceased from the state and provide medical treatment to the injured.

About 23 Ayyappa pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh died in the stampede at Uppupara near Vandiperiyar in Kerala on Friday while 19 persons were injured.

The bodies of the deceased which were flown from Kerala were received by the relatives at the airport on Sunday while the injured were admitted to various hospitals in the city.

The administration had made arrangements at the airport to receive the bodies and also to send them to their respective districts.

Some state minister also visited the airport to console the families of the deceased.