Allahabad stampede: As toll climbs to 36, govts pool resources to probe tragedy

Allahabad stampede
As the death toll in the Allahabad railway station tragedy climbs to 36, both the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government have put their heads to get to the bottom of the disaster.

CMO Allahabad Dr Prabhakar confirmed today that 14 more had succumbed to injuries, taking final death count to 36.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed grief over the death of 36 people at the Allahabad Railway Station stampede. Gandhi expressed deep shock and sorrow over the tragic death of pilgrims, a message from the AICC said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has instructed the Railway ministry to provide all possible assistance to the Uttar Pradesh government in the matter.

Meanwhile, Railway Minister P K Bansal on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to be given to the next of kin of those killed in the stampede. Bansal also rushed to Allahabad with Railway Board Chairman for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

Many injured are being treated at railway hospitals and the SRN Hospital here, he said. The victims include 26 women, 9 men and a child, official sources said, adding bodies of 20 of the deceased have been identified.

The stampede occurred at 7 pm yesterday at Platforms No 5 and 6 where thousands of passengers, mostly Maha Kumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam, had gathered to board a train.

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.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had 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.

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