Varanasi stampede toll mounts to 25: UP CM suspends 5 policemen

Varanasi stampede toll mounts to 25: UP CM suspends 5 policemen






Varanasi stampede toll mounts to 25: UP CM  suspends 5 policemen


Chandauli:  Death toll on the Rajpur Ganga bridge stampede has mounted up to 25, while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has suspended five police personnel including city Superintendent of police for gross negligence of deaths. The incident took place in Ramnagar police station area of Varanasi yesterday when thousands of followers of Jai Gurudev were proceeding towards Domri village in Chandauli for the two-day samagam (camp). Police said today that they were working on various theories that led to the stampede that claimed 25 lives. Earlier police had claimed that the organiser took permission for the gathering of 3000 people but surprisingly, the crowd swelled up to over one lakh leading to major chaos and stampede like situation. ADG law and order Daljeet Chowdhary, who is camping in Varanasi, told UNI here today that they are investigating through many theories, including rumours being termed as the reason behind the stampede, to know the actual cause behind the mishap. However, eye witnesses say that the rumour started about collapse of the bridge after a person fell in the river just when a train passed through the bridge. However, the death toll reached 25 after a woman died in the hospital during treatment. Now of the deceased 21 are women while rest 4 are male. Only 14 of the deceased have been identified so far. Over 50 injured including 3 in critical condition were getting treatment at different hospitals in the Varanasi city. An organiser of the event, Sant Ram Chaurasia, claimed that a rumour that the Rajghat bridge was collapsing led to the stampede. Chaos prevailed and the stampede occurred, he said. Police investigation claims, the followers of Jai Gurudev were moving on the narrow road to the Rajghat bridge. One man died of suffocation because of the surging crowds, which led to commotion. According to an eyewitness, there was a lot of chaos as people were pushed and shoved and many died of suffocation. The Rajghat bridge, known as Malviya bridge, is in good condition. It is a double-deck bridge over the Ganga connecting Varanasi to Chandauli district. The bridge has a rail track on lower deck and road on the upper deck. It is one of the major bridges on the Ganga. Grand Trunk Road passes through the bridge. The Uttar Pradesh government has also launched a helpline service for any information related to the stampede near Varanasi .The number is 0542-2508464 . Meanwhile, Mr Yadav tweeted that the Superintendent of police (SP) city Sudhakar Yadav, SP (Traffic) Kamal Kishore, Circle Officer (CO) Rahul Misra and in charge of Ram Nagar and Mughalsarai police station were suspended for gross negligence leading to deaths. Action against five officials was initiated on the basis of the preliminary report of the principal secretary (Home) and the DGP and action against more district officials is likely to follow soon. Yesterday, the CM had directed the Commissioner, Varanasi, to institute a magisterial inquiry into the incident. He had announced an ex gratia of Rs five lakh each to next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 compensation plus free treatment to the injured, who have been admitted to different hospitals in Varanasi and Chandauli. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also an MP from Varanasi, expressed anguish over the incident and asked senior officials in Varanasi to take stock of the situation. He also announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured.

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