UP govt agrees to hold debate on stampede



Lucknow: The Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government Wednesday agreed to Opposition demand for a debate in the Assembly on the Allahabad railway station stampede which claimed 38 lives earlier this month.

BSP, BJP and Congress members raised the matter through adjournment notices during Zero Hour and demanded immediate debate on the issue, stalling all other proceedings of the House.

Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey rejected the adjournment notices and granted one and a half hour debate on the issue. The date and time for the debate will be decided later.

Leader of Opposition and BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya claimed that the stampede toll was 41 and alleged that three people had also died in similar conditions in the Kumbh Mela area, but the government kept it under wraps.

Maurya demanded that those killed in the Kumbh Mela area also be compensated like those in the railway station stampede, as they were victims of mismanagement.

Hukum Singh of the BJP said the incident could have been averted had there been better crowd management and alleged that police lathicharge had resulted in the stampede.

He also alleged that senior officials reached the site late to deal with the situation.

Responding to the allegations, revenue minister Ambika Chaudhary said elaborate arrangements were made for the Kumbh and before the stampede incident, all were praising it.

Soon after the incident, the government had ordered an enquiry to bring out the truth and keeping in mind the gravity of the situation, was also ready for a debate, he said.

PTI