Action will be taken for Allahabad stampede, says Akhilesh

Allahabad, Feb 12 (IANS) Action will be taken against officials if found guilty of lapses for the Feb 10 stampede due to the Kumbh Mela rush at the Allahabad railway station here, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said Tuesday.

Yadav asked political parties not to play politics on the issue and wait for the probe report. A total fo 36 people were killed and scores were injured in the stampede Sunday night.

"I would not like to jump the gun as of now and would wait for the inquiry report to come to me," he said and added that strict action would follow if some officials were found guilty.

Talking to reporters after visiting those injured at the S.R.N. Hospital, Yadav said he would not like to blame anyone for now and would wait for the probe committee report.

"It is a very sad moment for all those involved in the arrangements for Kumbh and we are trying our best to ensure that the remaining days of Kumbh Mela pass off peacefully, and the safety and security of the people coming here is guaranteed by the state government," Yadav said.

Till the fateful Sunday, he pointed out, the Kumbh Mela was going on well and visitors, media and foreign tourists were appreciating the arrangements done by the state administration.

"Roads, power, food distribution, security, transport - everything was looked after well...Such an incident should not have happened," he said.

He recalled that he himself had visited the city twice to oversee the arrangements for the Kumbh, the biggest religious congregation on earth.

Yadav also appreciated the work done by the medical staff and doctors and announced that all treatment to the injured would be free of cost.

Yadav noted that the injured from Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, among others, have appreciated the treatment and care given by the doctors in the state.

"I have personally met every injured and I am satisfied that they had kind words to say about the treatment administered to them," the chief minister added.

He handed over Rs.5,000 in cash and cheques of Rs.1 lakh to those injured in the stampede. Rs.1 lakh more would be given to the injured later, officials said.

Uttar Pradesh has already enhanced to Rs.7 lakh the ex-gratia payment announced for the families of the dead.

Yadav earlier visited the railway station for an on-the-spot inspection of the stampede site and heard out the railway and district officials on the chain of events that led to the incident. stampede.

He urged all political parties not to "play politics" on the tragedy.

Governor B.L. Joshi earlier paid a visit to the city and met those injured in the stampede. Meanwhile, 16 of the 36 dead remain unidentified.

"We are trying our best to get them identified through photographs," said a local official. District officials and the police are now busy making arrangements for the Feb 15 bathing on Basant Panchami.

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