A stampede broke out during a recruitment drive outside the INS Hamla in Malad, Mumbai on Friday morning. Four people have been reported to be injured in the stampede until now.
According to reports, there was an overwhelming response at the INS recruitment exam centre for the Senior Secondary Recruits, and the security present there could not control the surging crowd. The situation was later handled by Navy officials and the local police.
Around 4,000 candidates were expected to arrive for the recruitment drive, but the situation got out of hand when more than 6,000 candidates showed up at the centre. The incident occurred early in the morning when the crowd had gathered outside the institute gate. When the gates were opened, candidates rushed to be the first ones in the queue, causing a stampede.
"There was a recruitment rally at INS Hamla , Malad, Mumbai this morning for Senior Secondary Recruits. We were expecting a good response from volunteers. However the response was overwhelming and crowd control created a bit of confusion (in the early hours) which was subsequently handled very efficiently by the local police and Navy officials. The recruitment drive is going on smoothly now," the Navy said.
Although the officials are citing an increase in the number of candidates as the reason behind the stampede, some candidates said that the required percentage to appear for the Navy exam was increased from 50 percent to 60 percent after seeing the surge in the number of candidates who arrived to take the paper, which caused the candidates to raise their voice. The candidates also said that the police resorted to the use of baton to control them, resulting in injuries on some people.
The police, however, denied using batons on the candidates and said that the candidates were injured because of the massive crowd at the institute.