Allahabad: Bodies strewn across the platform at Allahabad railway station, the injured crying for help, the biggest 'Shahi Snan' at the Maha Kumbh Mela couldn't have ended in a bigger tragedy. The death toll has risen to 36 and over 30 are said to be injured. However, what triggered the stampede isn't clear. When the foot overbridge was jam-packed, the police started lathi-charging the crowds to control it. Nearly four hours after the stampede, the injured were still waiting for the doctors and the dead for some dignity.
Making matters worse was the blame game that ensued. Samajwadi Party leader Ram Asrey Kushwaha said the onus lay with the Centre as the Railways comes under them. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, however, thought it fit to not comment on the issue. "I cannot comment right now on who demanded what," he said.
The Railways had sent in special trains to decongest the Allahabad railway station. The question, however, is why couldn't this have been done earlier when the administration knew that the return journey of three crore pilgrims would put pressure on the existing system. Another question that needs to be answered is why the Mela administration diverted two lakh people to the station when its capacity is far less - questions that need to be answered sooner rather than later.
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