The one-man committee will submit its report in two months
The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the stampede at the Allahabad railway station, which claimed 37 lives and left several others injured, on February 10.
The probe will be conducted by a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, Onkareshwar Bhatt. The one-man committee will submit its report in two months. The order was passed by the government late on Sunday night.
An official spokesman said on Monday that the terms of reference of the panel will include the causes which led to the incident, the role of officials and lapses, if any, and suggestions to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had earlier ordered an inquiry by chairman of the U.P. Board of Revenue Jagan Mathews, which was asked to submit its report in a month. His decision to order a judicial probe is seen as an attempt to take the issue away from the Opposition parties, which had blamed administrative lapses for the stampede on Mauni Amavasya.
The BSP disrupted Governor's address to the joint sitting of the Legislature on the opening day of the Budget session on February 14. The Bharatiya Janata Party submitted a memorandum to the Governor demanding a judicial inquiry. As both the railways and the State administration were unwilling to fix the onus for the stampede on their officials, Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan put in his papers as the chairman of the Kumbh Mela Committee owning moral responsibility. His resignation was rejected by the Chief Minister last week.