Tiruvannamalai: A 63-year-old woman lost her life while buying monthly provisions from a public distribution system (PDS) outlet in Inamkariyandhal village of Tiruvannamalai district.

The woman has been identified as Dhanabakiyam. Police stated that ration card holders surged forward and Dhanabakiyam was pushed to the ground and was stamped upon.

A few villagers managed to pull Dhanabakiyam out and carry her to a nearby house. Confusion prevailed as people tried to revive her by sprinkling water on her face. Dhanabakiyam was then rushed to the Government Tiruvannamalai Medical College and Hospital where she was declared dead.

Police have registered a case and investigations revealed that women broke the line when the shopkeeper had asked them to wait so he could prepare tokens.

An officer also stated that it was still unclear how Dhanabakiyam died because preliminary enquiries revealed that the woman had skipped breakfast and fell unconscious while waiting in queue.

Villagers, however, claimed that the outlet was opened only twice a month due to gross shortage of supplies. However, reports suggest that Tiruvannamalai collector KS Kandasamy denied allegations that the shop was opened only twice a month.

The villagers' claims were also refuted by K Sumathi who is heading the probe.

Sumathi also stated that as many as 200 people had queued up before the PDS and it was not clear as to what could have led to the death of the 63-year-old.

It also came to the fore that shopkeeper Krishnan was unaware that a woman had fallen unconscious in his shop and continued to issue tokens. Sumathi stated that until the ambulance reached the shop, Krishnan was unaware that a woman had collapsed.

Not long ago, as many as seven people died at a temple in Tamil Nadu’s Thuraiyur. Hundreds of people had gathered for the 'padikasu' (temple coin) distribution ceremony, held as part of annual 'Chithira Pournami' festival, at the 'Karuppasamy' (a rural deity) temple in Muthiampalayam village. The stampede occurred when the priest started distributing the coins and a section of devotees surged forward to collect them, police said.