Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s statement that the Railways are not to be blamed for the Allahabad railway station tragedy, in which 36 Kumbh Mela pilgrims were killed, is premature. An enquiry has been ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government. The blame game and finger pointing between the State government and the Railways should stop.
That said, as the tragedy took place on railway premises, it is only fair that the Railways take responsibility. The State government has indeed done a marvellous job of managing the mela without any untoward incident.
As long as the practice of giving a “clean chit” by the highest authorities even before the beginning of an investigation continues, horrific tragedies will also continue to take place. With powerful people saying such things, the investigating team is bound to submit a cooked-up fact finding report — usually after the public has lost all memory of it.