CUSAT stampede: Principal, two teachers booked for causing death by negligence

Four including three students were killed in the tragedy. File Photo: Screengrab/ Manorama News

Kochi: The Kerala police have arraigned the former Principal and two teachers of the School of Engineering at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), in connection with the stampede that happened during an annual tech festival on November 25, 2023.

Four persons were killed and at least 60 others were injured in the stampede that occurred before the musical concert by singer Nikita Gandhi in the open-air auditorium of CUSAT.

Following the probe, section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) - causing death by negligence - has been invoked against Deepak Kumar Sahu, the former Principal of the School of Engineering and two teachers of CUSAT, said a senior police official to PTI.

The probe revealed grave lapses on the part of Sahu and some other teachers, said the Police. Police have also submitted a detailed report in a local court mentioning the lapses.

According to officials, the event was an annual festival, and it was held from November 24 to 26. The musical event was organised in an auditorium with a capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 people.

The Kerala High Court had said that the stampede at CUSAT was clearly due to "some failure" and "should never have happened".

Of the four persons who died, three - Athul Thampi (23), Sara Thomas (19) and Ann Rifta Roy (20) - were students of CUSAT and the fourth - Palakkad-based Alwin - an electrician who had ended up at the festival by chance.

Following the tragic incident, state Industries Minister P Rajeev said existing guidelines for big public events, including those in universities and colleges, would be revised and updated from time to time to prevent such accidents.
(With PTI inputs)

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