New Delhi: Opposition parties today blamed the Railways and the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh for the "avoidable" stampede during the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad that left 36 people dead and demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
"This is a failure of both central and state government," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said demanding an independent judicial probe into the incident.
He said both the Railway Ministry and the UP Government were equally responsible for the incident as an unprecedented congregation was expected on 'Mauni Amawasya'.
"The BJP condemns the blatant attempt of the central as well as the UP government to shift the blame on the other," he said. "The Railway Minister cannot skip his duty by giving a technical answer that the foot bridge did not collapse but the stampede happened on the station. There was much chaos and could have been managed in a better way," he said.
The BJP also demanded immediate disbursement of compensation to the next of the kin of those killed. Condoling the loss of lives, BJP President Rajnath Singh said the incident could have been avoided if adequate precautions had been taken at the railway station.
"Whoever is responsible for this must be punished," he said. Expressing "horror and deep sorrow" at the incident, the CPI Central Secretariat demanded a judicial probe and proper medical facilities to all those injured.
JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the stampede was a matter of 'intensive inquiry'. There appears to be 'negligence of duty' on the part of the Railways administration, Kumar who was the Railway Minister in A B Vajpayee government said in Patna.
Former Union minister and Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy blamed the Railways and the local administration for the tragedy. Roy alleged the Railways ran 75 trains as against 150 trains it earlier announced to ply on the occasion of "Mauni Amawasya", causing heavy rush of pilgrims at the station.
The TMC leader also alleged that the police lathicharged the pilgrims in the station, which "aggravated the situation" and resulted in the deaths and injuries.