HC seeks details of arrangements from Centre, UP

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre, seeking details of the deployment of staff at the Allahabad railway station on February 10 when a stampede led to the death of 36 Kumbh pilgrims.

The court also issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, seeking details of movement of the Kumbh Mela Committee members in Allahabad on the date of the incident.

The bench, comprising Justices Uma Nath Singh and V K Mathur, passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO — We the People — which prayed for a judicial inquiry into the matter and action against the officers responsible.

The court directed both the Centre and the state government to file their replies within one week and fixed February 20 for the next hearing.

Appearing for the state government, Chief Standing Counsel I P Singh and Additional Advocate General Bulbul Godiyal apprised the court that the state had ordered an inquiry into the incident, which would be conducted by Chairman of Revenue Board.

They also stated that six different committees had been constituted earlier for making arrangements for the Kumbh Mela and its monitoring. The counsels stated that the stampede was an unfortunate incident that probably took place because of some diversion or change of platform of some trains at the railway station.

"The state government has to file a counter affidavit with details of the preparations that had been made for the Kumbh and the action taken after the incident," the AAG said.

The petitioner counsel Prince Lenin said: "The court has sought details of the movement of the officers of Kumbh Mela Committee on February 10 and earlier, and also details of the presence of the railway staff at railway station that day."

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