Home Ministry, UP, Railways in blame game over ITBP chaos
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 00:40
  
New Delhi/Lucknow: Union Home Ministry, Uttar Pradesh government and Railways were locked in a blame game today over the chaos at a ITBP recruitment camp and ensuing mishap, as four more job aspirants travelling atop trains succumbed to injuries taking the death toll to 19.

The Centre hit back at the Mayawati government for the violence and chaos that occurred during the recruitment camp saying "only a handful" of state policemen were present to maintain law and order.

The UP government claimed that ITBP and the Centre did not coordinate with the state on the recruitment camp. It also blamed alleged "mismanagement" of ITBP for the "chaos".

Contending that they had "no information about the recruitment drive by ITBP", Northern Railway General Manager S K Budhalakoti said Railways came to know about it only when a large number of job aspirants started gathering at stations in Bareilly and other places.

"We have successfully handled the crowd even during the Kumbh Mela celebrations and we could have taken steps had we been informed in this case," he said.

The death toll in the incident of ITBP aspirants falling down from the roof of two speeding trains rose to 19 today with four more succumbing to injuries, officials said in Lucknow.

Three persons died in Shahjahanpur, while another died in Hardoi, District Magistrate of Shahjahanpur Ajay Chauhan said.

Fourteen youths travelling atop the Himgiri Express, were killed when they were hit by an over-bridge near Shahjahanpur yesterday while another ITBP job-seeker died when he fell from the Traveni Express in Hardoi district.

Over 1.5 lakh youths from 11 states, vying for ITBP jobs, had reached Bareilly to submit forms for recruitment in the force yesterday. Hundreds of them travelled on rooftops of trains while returning home.

The Union Home Ministry said that despite the clear request and advance intimation by the Commandant (ITBP), it is learnt that only a handful of police personnel were deployed around the ITBP campus. When candidates started converging at the ITBP camp for registration, initially the process went on smoothly, it said

"However, as the crowd swelled, the Additional Director General (Headquarters) at the Directorate General ITBP, who was monitoring the process, even talked to the District Magistrate and the ADG (Law and Order) UP requesting them to augment the arrangements," the Ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.

The Ministry also produced four documents, submitted by the ITBP to it, of official communication between local ITBP officials and the state administration.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 00:40


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