Sonia expresses shock over Andhra stampede deaths

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday expressed shock over the loss of lives in a stampede in Andhra Pradesh and extended her condolences to the bereaved families.

In a message, she said she hoped the injured were being provided immediate medical relief and treatment.

She also said that the state government should take adequate steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

At least 22 pilgrims, mostly women, were killed and 20 others injured in a stampede during Godavari pushkaralu in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, officials said.

The 12-day pushkaralu, described as the Kumbh Mela of the south, began in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The tragedy occurred when a large number of pilgrims rushed towards one of the gates at Kotagummam pushkar ghat and tried to scale it to take the holy dip in the Godavari river.

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