Allahabad: Uttar Pradesh Panchayti Raj Minister Balram Yadav on Monday said the stampede at the Allahabad railway station took place due to ‘heavy and unmanageable’ rush of devotees who were returning home after taking holy dip at Kumbh on the occasion of ‘Mauni Amavasya’.
“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.
He was addressing a press conference here along with Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) DGP AC Sharma, and Chief Secretary Javed Usmani.
“It is the government’s responsibility to take care of the injured and the family of the deceased. It is also our responsibility to send the pilgrims back to their destination safely. The government has started extra buses, taxis and trains for the pilgrims. Now, everything is being double checked,” added the minister.
According to media reports, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had directed the minister to immediately rush to Allahabad to monitor relief measures and ensure best treatment to those who sustained injuries.
Thirty-six people died and 39 others were injured in the stampede, which occurred on platform number five, where thousands of Kumbh devotees had gathered to board a train.
It is, however, feared that the death toll may go up since the condition of some of the injured is said to be critical.
The injured are being treated at the railway hospitals and the SRN Hospital in Allahabad.
The preliminary reports said that the stampede broke out when the railing leading to a footbridge between platform 5 and 6 collapsed due to heavy rush of the people returning from Kumbh Mela.