The Centre on Saturday sought to make clear that the death of a boy was not due to the security arrangements for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here.

It asked the Uttar Pradesh government to hold a high-level probe into the incident and fix responsibilities.

The family of the eight-year-old Aman alleged that security blockades on the roads during Dr. Singh's visit here on July 3 had prevented them from taking him to hospital in time to save him.

Union Minister for Coal, Statistics and Programme Implementation Sriprakash Jaiswal told journalists here that Aman's death could not be linked to the Prime Minister's visit and it was the duty of the local authorities to ensure alternative routes to meet medical emergencies.

He said he would write to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati demanding a probe into the incident by a high-power committee so that officers responsible for it could be identified and strong action taken against them.

Mr. Jaiswal said he was not sent to Kanpur by Congress president Sonia Gandhi but came here as the local MP to console Aman's family and to give it strength to bear the loss, by joining a candle march in memory of the boy.

He said that whenever a person with SPG security cover comes to any city, local administration officials should identify some routes other than those used by VVIPs so that anyone needing emergency medical attention could be taken to hospital.

Mr. Jaiswal said henceforth the State government should ensure that an ailing or injured person could be taken to hospital without any hassle during a VVIP visit. He said he would apprise Ms. Gandhi of the matter.

Asked if the Centre would give monetary compensation to Aman's family, Mr. Jaiswal said this was the job of the State government and he would recommend the same to Ms. Mayawati.

The boy's parents, Usha Sharma and Tasdud Hussain, had alleged they were stopped from taking Aman to hospital by security personnel who barricaded all major roads here for the Prime Minister's visit to Indian Institute of Technology as part of security curbs.

The boy had sustained serious head injuries after falling from a height at his home. Aman's mother had written to Ms. Gandhi to ensure that such a tragedy never occurred in future.

Major Opposition parties in the State blamed the local administration for Aman's death.

Parties demand action

Flaying the local administration, the Congress, the BJP and the SP demanded strict action against the guilty for what they said was an avoidable tragedy.

“Nowhere in Prime Minister's security directions it is written that during his visit, no injured or sick person should not be taken to hospital,” Congress MLA Sanjeev Dariyabadi said. “It is the inhuman attitude of local authorities that led to the boy's death,” he said.

“Due to inhuman attitude of the local police and the district administration, the boy has lost his life. We will raise the issue in the Vidhan Sabha and demand strict action against the guilty,” SP legislator Irfaan Solanki said.

“If police and local authorities had shown humanitarian considerations, they would not have stopped the boy from going to hospital,” BJP MLA Salil Vishnoi said. The Union government should also share the blame for the boy's death, he said.