Kin of Patna Chhath stampede victims demand proper compensation

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 12:30 hrs

Relatives of stampede victims took to the streets of Patna on Friday to demand proper compensation, jobs and houses from the state government.

The November 19 stampede claimed 18 lives.

The stampede occurred during the Chhath Puja celebrations when a temporary bamboo bridge constructed to enable devotees to avoid a stretch of dirty water collapsed under the weight of hundreds of people.

Victims were trampled on as people tried to rush off the bridge.

Local officials said the deaths were the result of the stampede and not caused by the collapse of the bridge.

The protesters, under the banner of All India Students' Association (AISA) gathered on the streets of Patna demanding immediate probe into the matter and strict punishment for the administrative officials, responsible for the incident.

"Members of the All India Students' Association (AISA) have gathered here for the protest. We are demanding that the family members of the people, who were killed in the incident that occurred on the occasion of Chhath festival at Adalat Ghat, they should be given jobs; houses and the injured persons should be given proper compensation for treatment. Simultaneously, the administrative officials and politicians, who are responsible for the incident, must be investigated and action must be taken," said a protester, Markandey Pathak.

Some eyewitnesses and bereaved relatives blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the poor arrangements during the religious festival.

The three-day long Sun God festival of 'Chhath' begins with thousands of devotees observing fast and swarming to the banks of river Ganges to offer religious prayers.

Chhath Puja is considered to be the most auspicious festival for the people of Bihar and in parts of neighbouring states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

It is also popular in big cities like Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai where there are large number of people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)

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