President, PM condole deaths in Andhra stampede

New Delhi


President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths in a stampede on Tuesday during the Godavari pushkaralu in Andhra Pradesh.

In a message to Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, the president said: "I am saddened to learn about the stampede at the Pushkarulu ghat of Godavari river in Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh, where a number of devotees have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway."

At least 27 pilgrims were killed and over 60 injured in a stampede during the Godavari pushkaralu. The 12-day pushkaralu is described as the Kumbh mela of the south.

"I call upon the state government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured," he said, further conveying his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.

"I wish speedy recovery to the injured people," the president said.

Prime Minister Modi said he was deeply pained at the loss of lives.

"Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to stampede at Rajahmundry. My condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured," he said.

Modi also spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and discussed the situation with him.

"The state government is working to restore normalcy," the prime minister said.

Naidu announced Rs.10 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of those killed. - IANS