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Stampede exposed failure of centre, UP govts, says BJP

“We pay our homage to all those who are dead and pray for early recovery for those who are injured. This is the failure of both central and state governments. Bansal cannot wash his hands of the tragedy by giving technical answers like the foot-over-bridge did not collapse,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.


Great loss: Family members looking for missing relatives go through photos of people killed outside a morgue in Allahabad. Pic/AFP

“Stampede happened at the station, as there was much chaos. It could have been managed in a better way... This has been happening in every religious congregation,” he said.

BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi claimed the Kumbh Mela officials and local authorities did not have a crowd management plan. “It was expected of the government and the authorities to manage properly such a grand scale gathering. Yet, the officials did not have any plan to manage the crowd’s movement, nor did they know how to handle the situation,” Joshi said.

At least 38 people were killed and over a dozen injured in the stampede following the collapse of an over bridge railing at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday, an official said.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal however clarified that the stampede did not occur due to breaking of a foot over bridge railing. He also ruled out lack of arrangements, and said the reasons for stampede would be inquired into.

Azam Khan quits as Kumbh in-charge
The Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan yesterday quit his position as chairman of the Kumbh Management Committee, owning up moral responsibility for Sunday’s stampede. Although he maintained that the state government’s responsibility extended only within the 58 square km of the mela premises, and the railway station lay beyond that limit, Azam Khan took the high moral ground, quitting on his own.

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