Announces increased compensation of Rs. 7 lakh to the families of the dead

Two days after 36 persons were killed and at least 39 injured in a stampede at the Allahabad railway station, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Tuesday that it was not right to blame anyone until the investigations were through.

“As soon as we got the information about the incident, senior officers were deputed for relief and rescue work. Two senior ministers reached the city immediately. I don’t want politics to be played over the tragedy … All questions will be cleared in the probe report. Please wait for it,” he said during a visit to the Swarup Rani Nehru Hospital here.

He met the injured and the relatives of the victims and announced an increased compensation of Rs. 7 lakh to the families of the dead and Rs. 1.5 lakh to the injured. The injured were also given Rs. 5,000 in immediate relief.

The government has constituted an inquiry commission, which will submit a report in a month.

Mr. Yadav parried questions on the stepping down of Urban Development Minister Azam Khan in charge of the Kumbh Mela arrangements, and said work on improving facilities for pilgrims would continue.

Asserting that the administration would try its best to prevent such incidents, Mr. Yadav said action would be taken against those found responsible for the incident.

Governor B.L. Joshi, who on Monday summoned Mr. Yadav to take stock of the situation, also visited the hospital and the railway station.

While Railway Minister P.K. Bansal blamed the accident on the huge rush of pilgrims, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Javed Usmani said that it was not possible to draw the chronology of events so quickly.

Mr. Usmani denied any lapse on the part of the State government and said the real cause would be known only after the investigation.

The next bathing is the Basant Panchami Shahi Snan scheduled for Friday.