Chaos reigns as thousands throng Rajaji Marg for last glimpse of APJ Abdul Kalam

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Published: July 29, 2015 6:14:36 AM

Minutes after the gates of 10, Rajaji Marg were thrown open to the public, utter chaos reigned as a massive crowd advanced in waves to get a last glimpse of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, leading to a stampede like situation and laying bare the administration's ill-preparedness.

Minutes after the gates of 10, Rajaji Marg were thrown open to the public, utter chaos reigned as a massive crowd advanced in waves to get a last glimpse of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, leading to a stampede like situation and laying bare the administration’s ill-preparedness.

The woes of people, especially women and the elderly, waiting for hours in unbearable humid conditions, were aggravated by serpentine unorganised queues, with no clear demarcation or barricades being put up.

The gun-carriage carrying Kalam’s body reached the residence at around 2.30 PM. Till 4 PM, it was out of bounds for the general public as VVIPs including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi trooped in and out.

But with little crowd management at the entrance of the bungalow as well as inside, many jumped the queue resulting in an ugly situation where the elderly and women screamed for help after getting caught in the melee, in complete contrast to the sombre mood of the occasion.

“Things could have been managed better considering he was a man known for his discipline,” said Vinny Khanna, in his forties, who had come with his son and wife.

Although some, mainly police personnel, reserved the blame for the “unruly” public instead. “They have come to pay tributes to a former President but not even caring to maintain the basic etiquette,” 22-year-old Shamim said.

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