While, the final preparations to bury DMK chief M Karunanidhi are underway at Anna Memorial on Marina beach in Chennai, a stampede broke out at Rajaji Hall where the mortal remains of DMK patriarch are kept for public to pay last respects.
According to reports, two people died and 30 others suffered injuries in the stampede that happened when the police were allowing them to enter the hall in batches. There was a sudden rush, and many people fell down.
Karunanidhi will be buried with full state honours in the evening. The last journey of Karunanidhi from Rajaji Hall to Marina Beach is expected to begin at 4 pm.
Meanwhile, DMK working president MK Stalin made a fervent plea to party cadre at Rajaji Hall to maintain calm.His appeal comes in the wake of reports that two persons died and several injured there due to the commotion. Blaming the government for the chaos, he said that the government planned to create a volatile situation by refusing land at Marina. But the battle has been won in the courts.
“I touch your feet and plead not to create any disturbances and cooperate. Don’t come near the staircase at Rajaji Hall where Karunanidhi’s body will be kept in state,” he said. Shouts of “vendum vendum, Marina vendum (we want Marina)” had greeted Chief Minister Palaniswami, when he came to pay homage to Karunanidhi.
Barring a few pedestrians and some private vehicles, the streets of Chennai were deserted. All shops and business establishments were closed, with the occasional noise of police vehicles whizzing past breaking the ubiquitous silence.