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TN govt responsible for December 2005 stampede: SC
January 27, 2006 16:53 IST
The Supreme Court Friday held the Tamil Nadu government responsible for the death of 42 people in a stampede at a flood relief camp in Chennai in December 2005 saying it occurred due to the negligence of officers.
"The incident occurred because of the negligence of your officers. This is not the first time that such a incident has happened in Tamil Nadu. Repeatedly, it is happening in Tamil Nadu for such petty things," a Bench comprising Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P P Naolekar said.
The hard-hitting observations came during the hearing of a petition by the state government seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham councillor K Dhanasekaran, one of the accused in the stampede case.
The Bench dismissed the Tamil Nadu government's plea that the ghastly incident occurred due to rumours spread by the accused.
"Rumour means there is no source," the Bench observed when senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for the state made the submission for cancelling the bail granted to the accused by the Madras high court.
"The incident took place because of the officers not making preparations for providing flood relief," the Bench said.
When Tulsi submitted that there were witnesses who had seen the DMK councillor spreading the rumour that tokens would be distributed for obtaining the relief materials, the Bench asked him, "Does he mean to say that everything happened because of Dhanasekaran and others?"
"This is because of your sheer negligence. We will not interefere in the high court order," the Bench said rejecting Tamil Nadu's plea.
Dhanasekaran was granted bail by the trial court. But before the proceedings were taken to the high court, the Tamil Nadu government had also registered a case against him under the Goonda Act.
Following which the high court had declined to hear the petition of the state government against the grant of bail.
Besides the death of 42 persons, more than 50 people were injured in a stampede at a flood relief camp in Chennai's K K Nagar on the morning of December 18, 2005.
The incident occurred at a camp set up in the premises of a government school, where more than 2,000 people had gathered to collect relief materials.
This was the second such incident in the city. In the first incident on November 6, six persons were killed and 20 injured near a relief camp in north Chennai.