Allahabad/Lucknow: A blame game broke out between the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday over who was responsible for the Allahabad station stampede in which the death toll rose to 36 even as a senior state minister resigned on Monday owning moral responsibility. (Agencies)
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. The stampede broke out last night when the railway station was teeming with thousands of pilgrims returning home after a dip at the 'Maha Kumbh' in Allahabad.
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.
The Samajwadi Party government blamed the Railways for not making adequate arrangements to deal with the rush while the Railways ministry felt if the state government had dealt with the situation in a better way, the tragedy could have been averted.
"We all know who is at fault for this incident," Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said. Railways Minister P K Bansal blamed the stampede on tardy crowd management by the local administration.
Replying to a query, he said "prima facie, the stampede appears to be a result of people entering the station both through the city side as well as the Civil Lines side."
"This was contrary to the plan the Railways had made in consultation with the local administration according to which crowds had to be directed only through the city side and the Civil Lines side was to be made accessible in the case of emergency with prior information to Railway officials," Bansal told a press conference after visiting the stampede site.
"People should realise that Railways is not supposed to manage crowds. Its duty is to ferry people to their destinations," he said. "Those supposed to take care of the crowd management could not do so and the tragedy occurred," Bansal said.
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.
Allahabad/Lucknow: A blame game broke out between the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday over who was responsible for the Allahabad station stampede in which the death toll rose to 36 even as a senior state minister resigned on Monday owning moral responsibility.