Allahabad stampede: Death toll reaches 36; Centre, UP govt in blame game
Allahabad: Even as the death toll in the stampede at Allahabad Railway Station reached 36 on Monday, both the Uttar Pradesh government and Railways tried to shrug off in taking moral responsibility for the unfortunate incident.
In midst of the blame game between the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government over who was responsible for the stampede, Urban Development Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government Azam Khan quit as the in-charge of Maha Kumbh Mela organising committee saying that "Though the incident took place outside the Kumbh Mela premises, I take moral responsibility and resign as the in-charge of the Kumbh.”
Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal blamed huge rush of people for stampede at the foot-over-bridge at platform no. 6 of the Allahabad station. Bansal said "prima facie, the stampede appears to be a result of people entering the station both through the city side as well as the Civil Lines side."
"This was contrary to the plan the Railways had made in consultation with the local administration according to which crowds had to be directed only through the city side and the Civil Lines side was to be made accessible in the case of emergency with prior information to Railway officials," Bansal said.
"People should realise that Railways are not supposed to manage crowds. Its duty is to ferry people to their destinations," he said.
Two probes, one by the UP government and another by the Railways, to go into what triggered the stampede, have been ordered. The stampede broke out last night when the railway station was teeming with thousands of pilgrims returning home after a dip at the `Maha Kumbh` in Allahabad.
While Akhilesh Yadav remained busy with his cousin’s marriage and did not meet the victim’s families, Uttar Pradesh Panchayti Raj Minister Balram Yadav said the stampede at the Allahabad railway station took place due to ‘heavy and unmanageable’ rush of devotees.
“The state government had taken proper care of the facilities at the Meal area and the ‘Shahi Snan’ went very smoothly on Sunday, but the people, who had gathered since last six-seven days for ‘Mauni Amavasya’, and they returned in large number at the railway station. The crowd was very heavy and unmanageable there. A high level probe committee has been set up to look into the matter,” said Balram Yadav.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani said the truth would only be known once the probe, ordered by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, concludes. The lack of response teams and only one doctor at the railway station also left much to be answered.
Railways said a probe will be initiated into the railway station stampede here, which left 36 dead, once it is through with the task of clearing the rush of Kumbh pilgrims.
Alok Johri, the general manager of the North Central Railway zone told a news agency, “Our top priority is to ensure a safe return journey for the thousands of pilgrims who visited the Kumbh Mela yesterday. We are plying about two dozen special trains today to facilitate this".
Political parties blame Railways, UP govt
Opposition parties blamed the Railways and the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh for the "avoidable" stampede during the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad that left 36 people dead and demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
"This is a failure of both central and state government," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said demanding an independent judicial probe into the incident.
Expressing "horror and deep sorrow" at the incident, the CPI central secretariat demanded a judicial probe and proper medical facilities to all those injured.
JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the stampede was a matter of `intensive inquiry`.
There appears to be `negligence of duty` on the part of the Railways administration, Kumar who was the Railway Minister in AB Vajpayee government said in Patna.
Former union minister and Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy blamed the Railways and the local administration for the tragedy.
The Congress, meanwhile, promised action against the officials responsible for yesterday`s stampede but justified Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal`s defence of railway`s role into the incident.
"Uttar Pradesh government has set up an inquiry. Let the inquiry report come. We will find out. If there have been lapses, appropriate action will be taken against officers" and others who are responsible for it, party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit told reporters.
The stampede occurred at 7 PM yesterday at Platforms No 5 and 6 of Allahabad Railway Station where thousands of passengers, mostly Maha Kumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, had gathered to board a train.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- Mathura rally: PM Modi's ten power-packed dialogues
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in