Kumbh stampede: Centre, state deny responsibility
Allahabad, Feb 12 : 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.
"We pay our homage to all those who are dead and pray for early recovery for those who are injured...Both the Centre and the state government are responsible for it," Prakash Javadekar, spokesperson of BJP, the main Opposition party at the Centre, said on Monday.
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, said reports.
"We all know who is at fault for this incident," chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is scheduled to visit Allahabad on Tuesday morning was quoted as saying.
However, 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.
‚EuroúThere has been no collapse of foot-over-bridge or any railing on the station. I want to clear that stampede occurred due to people reaching in large numbers. We had made arrangements before start of the Kumbh. We have come to know that people turned in large numbers resulting in stampede," he said.
He said: "I still believe our arrangements were adequate."
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.
The death toll in the stampede at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday touched 38 on Monday. Several others were injured in the mishap.
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'.