n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |
People weep next to the bodies of relatives who were killed in a stampede on a railway platform in Allahabad on Sunday. Photo: PTI


In a major tragedy on the most auspicious day of the Maha Kumbh on Sunday, at least 36 pilgrims were killed and many were injured in a stampede at the Allahabad railway station. Authorities fear the death toll could rise further. Eyewitnesses say a police lathicharge triggered the chaos.

"The platform was meant for passengers who had reservations and for the ladies special. But there was no room for the other crowds that started pouring in. The arrangements were in place," Allahabad railway DIG Adhiram Sharma said.

Eyewitnesses said the stampede at Platform No 6 was triggered near a foot overbridge when hundreds of passengers rushed to board a train whose arrival was being announced in a public address system. Platform No 6 was later sealed by authorities. The bodies of some of the victims shrouded in white cloth were kept at the platform for several hours.

Several eyewitnesses said there was a lathicharge by the police that compounded the panic but Divisional Railway Manager Harinder Rao claimed passengers were not baton charged and that police only attempted to regulate the movement of the crowd at the platforms by asking passengers to stand in line.

Preliminary reports said the stampede broke out when the railing leading to a footbridge collapsed but Railways Minister PK Bansal discounted such a possibility saying this had not happened. Bansal said overcrowding at the platforms may have led to the stampede. A police officer said an estimated 4,000 people were present at one single point at the site where the stampede occurred.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the loss of lives in the tragedy and instructed Railway ministry to provide all possible assistance. Singh also directed central government departments to extend all possible help to Uttar Pradesh government in relief operations.

The UP government ordered an inquiry into the stampede and asked the Railways to make proper arrangements to clear rush of devotees and sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the kin of each of the dead persons. "The state government has ordered an inquiry into the entire incident. The 'snan' at Kumbh was completed without any problem...the unfortunate incident took place at the railway station..Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered an inquiry into the incident", SP spokesman and cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhury said. Chairman Revenue Board has been asked by the Chief Minister to inquire into the incident and submit his report to him.

Over three crore people had converged for a holy dip on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya' today, a day considered the most auspicious day during the 12-yearly congregation. A total of 112 trains routinely passes through Allahabad and an additional 49 special trains were being operated on Sunday.

BJP leader Uma Bharti, who visited the accident site and later met the injured, questioned the arrangements made by Railways ahead of the religious gathering. Meanwhile, a number of volunteers have joined the relief work and are offering assistance at the railway station, the railway hospital and the SRN Hospital.

Tag : #Allahabad #dead #Stampede #Maha Kumbh Mela

Yemen government offers to resign to end Houthi protests - source

from firstpost

Yemen government offers to resign to end Houthi protests - source

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen's government offered on Saturday to resign within a month and to review an unpopular decision to cut fuel subsidies, in an attempt to end protests by the Shi'ite Houthi movemen...


Bombs kill at least 35 across Iraq a day after mosque shooting

from firstpost

Bombs kill at least 35 across Iraq a day after mosque shooting

BAGHDAD/ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) - Bombings across Iraq killed at least 35 people in attacks that appeared to be revenge for an assault on a Sunni mosque that has deepened sectarian conflict. A bomb also ...

Palestinian president calls for Gaza talks to resume as fighting rages

from firstpost

Palestinian president calls for Gaza talks to resume as fighting rages

CAIRO (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent resumption of peace talks on Saturday as violence continued unabated in the Gaza Strip with Israel carrying out air strikes a...

Merkel says tightening Ukraine-Russian border is key to peace deal

from firstpost

Merkel says tightening Ukraine-Russian border is key to peace deal

KIEV (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved but only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alle...

Ceasefire violations: Border area villagers fear truce agreement will end

from firstpost

Ceasefire violations: Border area villagers fear truce agreement will end

RS Pura border, Jammu: Villagers in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir live under constant fear that frequent ceasefire violations would terminate the decade old truce agreement, putting their live...

Pakistan crisis: Sharif meets Zardari over lunch to end stalemate

from firstpost

Pakistan crisis: Sharif meets Zardari over lunch to end stalemate

Lahore: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today met former president Asif Ali Zardari to find a way to end the political crisis in the wake of protest sit-ins by supporters of cricketer-turned-poli...

Brigadier allegedly sodomises sahayak, faces sacking

from firstpost

Brigadier allegedly sodomises sahayak, faces sacking

New Delhi: In a major embarrassment to the army, a Brigadier deployed along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir is facing the prospect of disciplinary for allegedly sodomisin...