Allahabad station stampede kills 20

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 10:04 hrs

At least 20 people were killed on Sunday in a stampede at the railway station in Allahabad, which is hosting the Maha Kumbh Mela.

The stampede was triggered at around 7 pm on Sunday between platform number 5 and 6 at the railway station where lakhs of people were returning after a holy dip in the Ganges.

On Sunday Hindu devotees had descended on the holy city for ´Mauni Amavasya´, considered the most auspicious day of bathing during the 12-yearly congregation.

According to witnesses, the stampede was sparked after the police charged batons to control the crowds. The police however denied lathi-charge.

The Uttar Pradesh government ordered an inquiry into the incident and sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the families of the dead.

Earlier, officials denied a report aired by some news channels about the death of two pilgrims on Sunday due to a stampede/

Commissioner of Allahabad Division Devesh Chaturvedi and Inspector General of Police Alok Sharma jointly stated that any stampede at Kumbh mela would not go without being recorded either on the security camera network of the mela administration.

The joint statement however indicated the possibility that these deaths might have occurred due to any other cause like disease, illness or any other reason during the bathing or migrating from one place to the other on foot which may be known only after postmortem.

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