HC asks Centre to ascertain actual number of death in stampede
Lucknow: To ascertain the actual casualties in the stampede at Allahabad railway station on February 10, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to collect information about the missing people through advertisements in electronic and print media.
The Lucknow Bench comprising Justices Uma Nath Singh and Vinay Kumar Mathur passed the order on three separate petitions.
The court said the documents submitted by Uttar Pradesh government and the railways in terms of its order dated February 12 did not contain the complete details and some of them need to be clarified.
"Thus, they would be required to file affidavits of the officers, who were holding key and sensitive positions, individually, on the day of incident of stampede. The state government shall also inform about the total amount of budgetary provision and the expenditure incurred on different heads," it said.
"The publicity shall be made in the print as well as on electronic media regularly till the requisite informations are collected and made available to the court," it directed.
The court said that the affidavit should also indicate the medical and financial assistance provided to the victims during and after the incident.
"The railway shall indicate on affidavit the number of trains provided, the number of tickets sold, the revenue earned and the budget, if any, earmarked for special arrangements,"it said.
The bench said the affidavits should also indicate correspondence between the railway and the state government or Kumbh Mela Committee in regard to the arrangement made at railway stations, in terms of staff, namely, the medical as well as para-medical, the police and the railway employees, particularly in the wake of prior information that about three crores pilgrims were expected to take holy dip at the confluence of rivers.
It directed that the Centre should file affidavit informing the role of National Disaster Management Agency during the incident, and after wards.
"So should also be provided about the Railway Disaster Management Agency," it said.
"These are the broader premises where under the respondents are directed to file their affidavits. However, during the course of hearing, if any further information would be required, that can be provided by way of additional affidavits," it added.
The court said that in the view of controversy over the exact number of casualty at Allahabad railway station and in Sector-12 of Kumbh Mela premises on February 10 it directed the central government to give wide publicity for information to all the concerned whose kith and kin were missing to directly address their applications to the Registrar the bench in order to find out the actual number of casualty on the date of stampede.
"The railway and the state government shall also indicate the measures taken in order to regulate the entry of crowd at the railway junction and other stations in Allahabad and also in Sector 12 of the Kumbh Mela premises on the day of stampede," it added.
The bench directed that the records produced before the court should be re-sealed and handed over to registrar of for safe custody.