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Leading businessman arrested in stampede deaths – Police

STAMPEDE DEATHS – Police Scene of Crime officers on Juma Masjid in Maligawatte in Colombo after three people died in a stampede where a businessman was distributing cash for Eid/Twitter

ECONOMYNEXT – A leading businessman who had gathered people inside his warehouse premises to distribute cash for the Eid festival season has been arrested after three people died and several others were injured after a stampede during the event, police said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Deshabandu Tennekoon told the Derana news channel that the businessman had not informed the police or obtained clearance to stage an event of this nature even though it was during curfew hours.

He said that around 300 people had gathered and as those who had received the cash gifts had been asked to stay behind as there may be a second round had caused the stampede.

Police spokesman Superintendent of Police Jaliya Senaratne told media that the Maligawatte police are investigating the incident.

He described the deceased persons as “elderly women.”

An unknown number of people had been rushed to the National Hospital in Colombo and at least nine of them remain warded, reports said. (Colombo, May 21, 2020)