CUSAT stampede: Expert panel visits campus for investigation

Public pays homage to students who lost their lives at the CUSAt stampede. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: An expert committee constituted by the Kerala government visited the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) on Monday to look into the situation that led to the stampede that claimed four lives and injured over 60 others during an annual festival.

State Higher Education Minister R Bindu said the expert panel will frame the terms of reference to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future. The University Vice Chancellor and Principal Secretary of the Higher Education Department have also been asked to file reports regarding the tragic incident.

The Minister said the organisers were responsible for ensuring there was adequate preparedness for crowd control when such events were being hosted. She said any further action would be taken after receiving all the reports.

State Law and Industries Minister P Rajeev said police had issued advisories to all auditoriums in Ernakulam with regard to crowd control, but educational institutions were not included in the same.

Meanwhile, Kochi City Police Commissioner A Akbar said no official requisition was received from the university for police help.

Four students, including two boys and two girls, lost their lives and 60 others were injured during a stampede at CUSAT's annual fest on Saturday. The stampede occurred before well known singer Nikita Gandhi was to perform for a musical festival in the open air auditorium of the university.

While the deceased Athul Thambi, Ann Ruftha and Sara Thomas were students in the university, the fourth person who died was Palakkad resident Alwin. Among the injured, two people are in critical condition and in the ICU of a private hospital.
(With PTI inputs.)

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