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