Eyewitness blames police for Maha Kumbh Mela stampede
Allahabad, Feb 11 : An eyewitness blamed the police for a stampede at the railway station that killed several pilgrims returning after a holy dip at the 'Maha Kumbh' here.
At least 36 people were killed and scores of others injured on Sunday night in a stampede at Allahabad railway station.
Officials' say more than 30 million people took a dip on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya', considered the most auspicious day during the 12-yearly congregation, at Sangam - the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Thousands of people were at the railway station, waiting to take a train home, when the melee occurred.
"People were walking on the footbridge when suddenly police charged with batons. Because of that baton charge, the public panicked and the stampede happened. In that stampede these people were killed," eyewitness Amit Kumar said.
It was not clear why the police waved batons at the crowd, but Kumar blamed authorities for not acting immediately after the tragedy.
"Some 10 dead bodies are lying on the platform right now and some dead bodies have been lifted from the top of the footbridge. There is completed negligence on part of the authorities, there is no doctor, no ambulance has come till now, more than two and a half hours have now passed," Kumar said.
Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims from across India converge at Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela.
More than 2,000 years old, the festival is a meeting point for the Hindu holy men and monks.