Probe ordered into Lucknow stampede

NEW DELHI OCT. 3. The Railway Minister, Nitish Kumar, today ordered a high-level inquiry into last week's stampede at the Charbagh railway station in which 19 rallyists of the Bahujan Samaj Party were killed.

The inquiry was ordered following a direction to the Railway Minister from the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. The step was taken by the Government after the U.P. Chief Minister, Mayawati, met the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Railway Minister. Ms. Mayawati also submitted the probe report conducted by the State Government into the tragedy which involved BSP workers who were returning home after a rally. She claimed that a last minute change in the platform led to confusion and chaos at the Lucknow railway station.

The Railway Minister told reporters that the high-level inquiry committee would give its report within a week and go into "all aspects'' relating to the incident. Its terms of reference include ascertaining the circumstances, causes for the tragedy, relief and medical aid provided to the injured, efforts made to control the crowd both inside and outside the station and measures to ensure such incidents do not recur in future. The probe panel members are the Director-General of the Railway Protection Force , Addtional Member (Traffic) and Additional Member (Safety and Coaching) of the Railway Board.

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