Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs. 2.50 lakh each for the next of kin of those who died in the Kripalu Maharaj ashram stampede in Pratapgarh district on March 4. A compensation of Rs. 75,000 each was announced for the injured.
In a related development, the manager of the ashram, Hiranmay Chaterjee, and two employees, Shiv Kumar and Amit, were arrested by the police on Wednesday. The manager and the organiser of the ashram complex had been named in the FIR lodged at the Kunda police station.
Sixty three persons were killed and about 74 injured in the stampede.
Announcing the compensation, Ms. Mayawati told reporters here on Wednesday that the action against the ashram manager and two others was based on the preliminary inquiry report submitted to the Government by the commissioner of Allahabad division. She said the officials have been directed to disburse the relief in the next couple of days. The ashram management was held responsible for the stampede by the probe panel.
Referring to the compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the injured persons announced by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Ms. Mayawati lashed out at the Centre for trying to gain political mileage from the stampede incident. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that compensation amount was yet to be received by the State Government. The announcement made by the Congress-led UPA Government exists only on paper, Ms. Mayawati stated.
She said as compared to the opposition parties, there was no difference in the words and actions of the Bahujan Samaj Party. Ms. Mayawati cautioned the Congress leaders against levelling charges on the BSP Government. Instead of making baseless allegations, the Congress leaders should ensure that the Centre's compensation money is sent to the State, the Chief Minister added.