12:50 pm: Controversy over governor’s comment on stampede
Governor BL Joshi has sparked off a minor controversy by saying that stampedes like the one that took place at Allahabad station could take place whenever crores of people gathered at a single location.
“When crores of people gather at a place then mistakes happen,” he said after visiting victims at an Allahabad hospital.
We will try to correct it and we will make sure that nothing like this happens again, Joshi said.
He may have a point, but it wouldn’t have hurt to choose a better forum for the honourable governor to air his views on the stampede. Better facilities, either at the station or at hospitals, could no doubt have aided those injured in the stampede.
12:40 pm: CM refuses to comment on probe, says he won’t play politics
The Chief Minister refused to comment on the ongoing probe in the matter and said that it would be wrong to play blame games on the issue.
“If the rail minister or anyone else wants to play politics over the issue they can do so. However, we will not play politics over this issue,” the chief minister said.
He also refused to get drawn into a controversy about the stepping down of Azam Khan as the minister in charge of the Kumbh Mela and said that work would continue on improving facilities for the pilgrims attending the Maha Kumbh.
He also promised action against anyone found guilty during the probe into the stampede at the station.
“Anyone found guilty will face action,” Akhilesh said.
12:35 pm: Akhilesh meets victim and says compensation has been given, relief measures were taken in time
The Chief Minister said that cheques had been handed out to the victims of the stampede.
“At the time the information was received that such an incident had taken place authorities were given instructions to deal with the situation. Ambulances were rushed to the site despite the crowds and were taken to hospitals for treatment,” the Chief Minister said.
He said he met with pilgrims who said that they were being treated well and had advised them not to leave the hospital until they received treatment completely.
According to him, the pilgrims said that the Kumbh had been well organised.
12:00 pm: Akhilesh Yadav may not get warm welcome
He may have expressed his sympathy over the incident that claimed over 30 lives, but Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav may not get a warm welcome when he finally visits the victims of the stampede at the Allahabad railway station today, two full days after the incident occurred. The Chief Minister’s visit is a day late because he had to attend a cousin’s wedding in his home village.
According to report on NDTV , Yadav is set to visit Allahabad with Governor BL Joshi where he will visit the site of the accident meet with the persons who were injured at the station.
On Monday, when asked about the incident Akhilesh cryptically countered,”We all know who is at fault for the incident.”
While the Chief Minister had sent a minister to Allahabad and announced compensation for the victims of the tragedy, he had not gone to the site of the stampede since he was reportedly attending a cousin’s wedding.
According to an Ibnlive report, the Chief Minister was to attend his cousin’s wedding at his native village Saifai due to which he did not visit the site of the stampede. While he issued a statement from there, he will visit the site of the accident only today.
The minister in charge of the Kumbh preparations, Azam Khan, was also not present at Allahabad after the incident and issued a statement resigning from the post, but did so from Rampur.
The state government has already announced a probe into the stampede at the Allahabad station on the night of 10 February that left 36 dead and will be submitting its report within a month. The stampede has said to have occurred due to overcrowding of pilgrims attending the Maha Kumbh at Allahabad, but some eyewitnesses have blamed the police using batons to disperse people for starting the stampede.
The state government has said that all arrangements were in place to handle the lakhs of devotees who had gone to the state to attend the Maha Kumbh.