UP Guv meets Allahabad stampede victims



Allahabad: Uttar Pradesh Governor BL Joshi, who met those injured in the stampede at Allahabad railway station at the Swaroop Rani Hospital here Tuesday, assured that an appropriate action will be taken in this case.

"When crores of people gather at a place then lapses take place. It is human, we need to understand it. We will try to correct the mistake and make sure that it does not happen again. We will find out why it (the stampede) took place and take appropriate action," he told media here.

The Uttar Pradesh Governor had earlier on Monday summoned Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to take stock of the situation in Allahabad.

The Chief Minister will also visit Allahabad later in the day and to meet those injured in the stampede. He is also expected to take stock of relief operations for the Kumbh pilgrims.

Expressing grief over the tragedy, Yadav had earlier on Monday said that the priority of his government was to ensure safety of devotees at the Kumbh Mela.

"The most important issue for the government and the officials is to ensure that rest of the people, who are stranded at railway station or staying at the Kumbh after taking dip, should reach their home safely and without any harassment," he told media in Etawah town.

Azam Khan, a senior cabinet minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party Government (SP) Government, resigned as the head of Kumbh Mela Management Committee on ''moral grounds'' yesterday.

"The incident has hurt me. I, taking moral responsibility, have decided to tender resignation as the head of the Kumbh Management Committee. I have conveyed his message to the chief minister and you (reporters) as well," he told media in Moradabad.

The Uttar Pradesh Government has ordered an inquiry into the stampede, and asked the railways to make proper arrangements to clear rush of devotees. The Uttar Pradesh Government has also sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the kin of each of the dead persons.

At least 36 people lost their lives and over 40 others got injured in the stampede that broke out at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday night. The injured are being treated at the railway hospitals and the Swaroop Rani Hospital in Allahabad. It is, however, feared that the death toll may go up since the condition of some of the injured is said to be in a critical condition.

The stampede occurred at platforms 5 and where thousands of passengers, mostly Maha Kumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam, had gathered to board a train.

The preliminary reports said that the stampede broke out when the railing leading to a footbridge collapsed.

Railways Minister PK Bansal, however, yesterday ruled out the collapse of footbridge or any railing on the railway station as the cause for stampede.

Bansal claimed that arrangements at the railway platform were adequate. He also announced compensation of Rs. one lakh to the families of the dead, 50,000 to those having grievous injuries and 25,000 to those injured.

ANI