Mayawati announces relief for UP stampede victims
Submitted by admin2 on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 23:54
NetIndian News Network
New Delhi, March 10, 2010
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today announced a compensation
of Rs 2.50 lakh each for the next of kin of those who were killed in
the stampede at the Kripalu Maharaj ashram at Kunda in Pratapgarh
district on March 4.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow today, Ms Mayawati said Rs
75,000 would be paid to each of those who suffered serious injuries in
As many as 63 persons - all women and children - had died in the
stampede and about 70 had suffered injuries.
Ms Mayawati said she had directed the officials to ensure that the
amount was delivered to the victims or their families within two days.
She also announced that the manager of the ashram, Hiranmay
Chatterjee, and two of its employees, Shiv Kumar and Amit, had been
arrested in connection with the incident.
The Chief Minister had earlier said that, because of the acute
financial difficulties being faced by the State Government, it would
not be able to pay compensation to the victims.
Referring to the ex-gratia payment of Rs two lakh announced by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh for the next of kin of those killed and Rs
50,000 for the seriously injured, Ms Mayawati accused the Centre of
trying to gain political mileage out of the tragedy and said the
amount had not been received by the State Government so far.
She went on to give details about the steps taken by her government to
handle the crisis after the stampede had occurred. She said she had
immediately directed the officers concerned to initiate rescue and
relief operations and two senior Cabinet Ministers, Naseemuddin
Siddiqui and Swami Prasad Maurya, had been directed to visit the spot
and supervise the relief operations.
Those killed in the stampede included 37 women and 26 children. More
than 10,000 people had gathered at the temple in the ashram for a
function. Many of them were attracted to the event by the offer of a
free meal, some utensils and clothes.
The function had been organised to mark the anniversary of the death
of the wife of Kripalu Maharaj, a well-known religious leader.
The stampede occurred when a gate, that was under construction and was
holding back hundreds of people, gave way suddenly and people surged
forward in waves. Scores of people were trampled in the mad rush.
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