Allahabad stampede toll mounts to 36; Azam Khan resigns

The stampede occurred yesterday evening at at Allahabad railway station where thousands of passengers, mostly Maha Kumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam, had gathered to board a train.

Published: 11th February 2013 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2013 07:20 PM   |  A+A-


A senior UP minister resigned Monday owning moral responsibility for Sunday's stampede which has claimed 36 lives even as a blame game erupted between the Centre and the UP government on who was responsbible for the tragedy.

Two probes, one by the UP government and another by the Railways, to go into what triggered the stampede as also organisational lapses, have been ordered.

CMO Allahabad Dr Prabhakar said 14 more people died during treatment, taking the death toll to 36. The victims include 26 women, 9 men and a child. Bodies of 20 of the deceased have been identified.

Taking moral responsibility for the stampede, UP Cabinet Minister Mohammad Azam Khan resigned as the in-charge of Kumbh Mela.

"Though the incident took place outside the Kumbh Mela premises, I take moral responsibility and resign as the in-charge of the Kumbh. I am sending my resignation to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav", Khan told reporters in Lucknow.

The state government blamed the Railways for not making adequate arrangements to deal with the rush. The ministry feels if the state government had dealt with the situation in a better way, the incident could have been averted.

The Chief Minister said, "We all know who is at fault for this incident."

In Delhi, Railway Minister P K Bansal said,"There are a total of 12,000 trains on Indian Railway's 65,000 km long route system which carries 2.3 crore passengers in a day. So all the trains cannot reach at one spot in a day as there are limitations on the part of Railways to carry crores of passengers in a given day."

He was asked whether Railways was prepared to handle the Kumbh rush of 3 crore passengers in a day.

Bansal announced Rs one lakh as compensation for the families of those killed in the stampede.

"We have announced Rs 1 lakh announced for the next kin of the deceased in the incident and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured persons and Rs 25,000 for those who have suffered simple injury in the stampede," he said.

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