KUSHINAGAR: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday faced massive protests when he went to Kushinagar to visit the site where thirteen children were killed when a school van collided with a train on an unmanned railway crossing. However, the manner in which he tried to calm the protestors has raised even more eyebrows.
Trying to pacify the angry crowds, he shouted through a megaphone: "Narebazi band karo, nautanki band karo" (stop raising slogans, stop this drama). I have come here to express my sympathies." The angry protestors refused to bow down and some even squatted on the railway track. They demanded that railway personnel be posted at the unmanned crossing to avoid such accidents.
He also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims. He assured the protestors that the state government will take strict action against those found responsible for the laxity.
As the CM faces ire over the language used against the protestors, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Uttar Pradesh Minister Shrikant Sharma said that the issue was being politicised. "It is unfortunate that people are politicising it. The accident is very unfortunate but what's worse is that attempts were made to block the CM's path when he went there and slogans were raised by SP-BSP," said Sharma.
"The CM went to the spot and the hospital. He told people of SP-BSP to not politicise matter. It's being taken in a different way. The CM's intentions were clear. He had left all his work to go to accident spot," he added.
Members of Bar Council, Kushinagar, also complained about the "irresponsible attitude" of the district hospital staff. "As soon as they saw 13 bodies, senior officials of district hospital at Kushinagar referred four injured children and the driver to BRD Hospital without even administering first aid," members of the Bar Council complained to the Chief Minister, according to an official.
Four officials faced suspension and police registered a case against van driver Nayaz Ansari and Kushinagar's Divine Mission School under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Orders were issued to register an FIR against the manager and principal of the school for running it without valid registration.
Some eyewitnesses told police that Ansari was talking on his mobile phone and refused to stop the van as a train approached the unmanned level crossing. Certain provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act are also likely to be invoked, DIG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said.
The case against the driver and the school was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Zaheer, the father of one of the children killed in the accident. The DIG said the van belonged to the school.