Akhilesh promises action on Kumbh stampede

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 22:23 hrs

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday promised action stern against those found responsible for the stampede at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday killed at least 36 people.

The CM on Tuesday arrived at Allahabad by helicopter and went directly went to the Allahabad Railway Station without prior information and inspected the platform number 6, the site of the tragedy.

Yadav gathered all the details of the incident from the Commissioner Devesh Chaturvedi and other officials, a statement from the state government said.

The CM met the DRM of Allahabad Railway Division Harendra Yadav and told him that the railway should run more trains on the occasion of Basant Panchami and should deploy more security officials on the railway station.

Akhilesh Yadav confirmed that the orders have been issued for the inspection of the incident, adding that the President of the Revenue Board will submit the report within one month.

The CM also asked the DRM to cooperate in the investigation and affirmed that railway will provide every possible help in the investigation.

Yadav then went to the Swaroop Rani Hospital and visited the wards of the victims with doctors where he talked to them and promised them with financial assistance.

He asked the victims to stay until they are completely treated and said the expenses will be beared by the government.

Yadav also said that it was in vain to politicize this issue. The Kumbh Mela belongs to the whole country, not only to Uttar Pradesh and political mudslinging over the matter would hamper the country´s image, he said.

Both the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government have denied responsibility for the the lapses that contributed to the rise in deaths following the stampede at Allahabad railway station on Sunday night.

Denying the charges, both the governments have blamed the sea of humanity and the heavy rush of passengers, returning after a holy at the Maha Kumbh, which is the world´s largest religious congregation.

"We all know who is at fault for this incident," Yadav was earlier quoted as saying.

Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Mohammad Azam Khan on Monday has resigned as the head of Kumbh Mela Management Committee "on moral grounds."

Speaking to reporters, Khan said: "Though the incident took place outside the Kumbh Mela premises, I take the responsibility of the fiasco and resign as the in-charge of the Kumbh."

The UP government has asserted to complete an inquiry within a month and has declared a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families of the dead.

Railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday had clarified that there was no lapses in train services or any administrative failures.

Reports quoting eyewitnesses said the stampede was triggered by a baton-charge by the police, but the authorities denied it.

There were also complaints of the authorities responding very late to the crisis. Only one doctor was reportedly attending to the injured at the station and the police took hours to remove the bodies from the station. Some of the dead are yet to be identified.

At least 36 people were killed and several others were injured in the stampede at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday.

Earlier reports said the stampede took place on a footbridge between platforms 5 and 6.

Most people present at the station during that time were devotees who had come to take a holy dip at the Maha Kumbh mela on the occasion of ´Mauni Amavasya´.

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