Shocked and dismayed at the July 14 stampede in Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh (India) reportedly killing dozens of pilgrims and injuring many, Hindus worldwide are highly critical of frequent occurrences of deadly stampedes at religious gatherings in India.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although India was on track to become a global power but it could not even handle a domestic event properly and had yet to come up with a foolproof plan to manage large crowds.
India failed or refused to learn lessons from the previous stampedes as these continued to happen. It was blight on a country, which prided itself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out while expressing grief over the loss of lives at July 14 stampede.
Rajan Zed further said: Our hearts and thoughts go out for the victims and their families and we are all in shock and anguish over this unimaginable loss. He called for prayers for the victims of the tragedy and their families.
Zed indicated that it clearly reflected on India and Andhra Pradesh governments who appeared to have failed to properly manage a popular festival.
Rajan Zed asked for apology from Andhra Pradesh government for failure to prevent this preventable tragedy, adequate compensation for the affected and their families, proper medical care for the injured and action against the negligent officials.
India should better manage its festivals as stampedes were relatively common at India’s religious gatherings where large crowds gathered in small areas with very little or no crowd-control or safety measures, Zed added.
This stampede happened on Godavari river banks on the opening morning of the 12-day major religious festival known as Maha Pushkaralu, which comes once in 144 years, in which about 24 million pilgrims were expected to participate and take a holy dip, reports suggest.