2 killed in stampede as over 3 cr take holy dip at Maha Kumbh
The ritual of bathing started yesterday afternoon itself when 'Mauni Amavasya' began according to the Hindu almanac and reached its crescendo this morning.
A steady stream of devotees was seen at railway stations and bus stations where people from nearby as well as far-off places took to roads and pathways all of which seemed to be leading towards the Sangam on this day.
A railway station in the neighbouring district of Pratapgarh was vandalised this morning by people angry over non-availability of a special train for a trip to the holy Sangam.
Tight security arrangements were in place with more than 15,000 security personnel drawn from central paramilitary forces like ITBP, CRPF, BSF and RAF besides the Uttar Police and its Provincial Armed Constabulary and Anti Terrorist Squad keeping a close vigil.
Besides, the Army conducted aerial surveys every few minutes.
Prominent personalities who have visited the Kumbh are Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, BJP chief Rajnath Singh ans other politicians including Subodh Kant Sahay and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Hinduja brothers, Anil Ambani with his mother Kokilaben, film producer Ekta Kapoor, actors Shilpa Shetty, Emraan Hashmi, Rajpal Yadav and Ashutosh Rana and stand-up comedian Raju Srivastava.
A number of classical musicians like Pandit Jasraj, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Malini Awasthi also enthralled people with their performances at the Kumbh area.