Two men die in army recruitment centre stampede in Punjab


Amritsar : The rush at an army recruitment rally near this Punjab city Monday claimed the lives of two youth in a stampede which broke out when the gates of the recruitment centre were opened early Monday.

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The victims have been identified as Harjinder Singh and Ranjodh Singh. Both were in their early 20s.

“Two persons were killed in the stampede at the gate,” Amritsar district police chief Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said.

Police officials said that nearly 10,000 young men, mostly from border areas of the state, turned up for the recruitment process at Khasa Cantonment near here.

Incidentally, no major injuries were reported among scores of other young men who were caught in the stampede. Some of them received bruises from the barbed wire fencing of the centre.

The recruitment camp was being held to select youth for a career in the Indian Army from border areas of Punjab.

“The youth tried to get in fast, resulting in a stampede,” a police officer at the spot said.

Police officials said that hundreds of young men were camping outside the recruitment centre since Sunday night.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner K.S. Pannu said the incident was unfortunate. He said the injured youth were rushed to a nearby hospital, but two of them were pronounced dead by thedoctors at the hospital.

Army officials of the 11 Corps based in Punjab said the rush for the recruitment process was owing to growing unemployment among youth. Thousands turned up for the rally, they added.