UP Stampede: State govt vows strict proceedings against guilty



Zeenews Bureau

Lucknow: Strongly criticising the recent stampede in a temple of the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has asserted that strict proceedings will be followed to punish the guilty.

The Principal Secretary of Home Department has blamed the temple administration for the mismanagement which he said resulted in the stampede.

Following this Chief Minister Mayawati had ordered a probe into the incident while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi paid a personal visit to the affected people to express his sympathies.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh is slated to visit the state today to meet with the victims and their families.

Today, Mayawati expressed inability to compensate the families affected by the tragedy saying her state was facing an "acute financial crisis".

At least 65 people were killed and over 20 others critically injured in a stampede during a luncheon (Bhandara) organised by a well-known Saint Kripalu Maharaj in Pratapgarh in UP on Thursday.

Around 37 women and 26 children were among those killed after they were trampled over by the crowd that had gathered at Kripalu Maharaj's ashram, 60 kms from here, during distribution of food and utensils for the "Shradh" (post-death rites) of his wife.