4 elderly women killed in TN stampede during free distribution of sarees

Dead body.
Representational image. Photo: IANS

Four women died in a stampede at Vaniyambadi in Tamil Nadu where a private organisation was distributing free sarees as part of the Thaipooyam festival celebrations.

A large number of devotees had gathered near the Vaniyambadi vegetable market in Tirupathur district to obtain the tokens for the free dhotis and sarees. Four elderly women died in a stampede that broke out during the token distribution while 3 women were admitted to the Vaniyambadi government hospital due to complaints of suffocation.

The deceased have been identified as Valliammal (60), Rajathi (62), Nagammal (60) and Mallika (70).

Ayyappan, who distributed tokens near the Vaniyambadi vegetable market in Tirupathur district ahead of the annual Thaipoosam festival at a local temple, has been arrested by the police.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday condoled the deaths and announced relief of Rs 2 lakh each to the victims' families.

"I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic incident. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I have ordered to provide Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the four elderly women who died in the stampede from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund," Stalin said.

Also, he directed the officials to provide a relief of Rs 50,000 each to three women who were injured and undergoing treatment.

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