The unfortunate stampede at Allahabad station has left 36 people dead so far and many of the injured are being treated at the Railway Hospital. The victims of the stampede include 26 women, 9 men and a child. The stampede took place on Sunday evening at platform numbers 5 and 6 where thousands of passengers had gathered, most of them Maha Kumbh pilgrims, to board trains after taking a dip in the Sangam.
Eyewitnesses claim that the passengers were lathi charged by the police and stampede followed in that panic. The Divisional Railway Manager on the other hand claims that the passengers were not beaten, but the police were only trying to regulate the crowds on the platform.
This incident is an example of glaring negligence on the part of the authorities who were responsible for the safety and well being of pilgrims. The Maha Kumbh mela attracts millions of people and the Kumbh Mela Management Committee should be aware of this and prepare accordingly so that incidents like these are avoided.
As far as I remember I haven’t hear of one time that people have not been killed in stampedes during large gatherings like these and the scary part, there’s no government control in place. Thousands upon thousands of people cram into one tiny town and get squashed like bugs- unfortunate is an understatement! Does human life have no value anymore?
Religion is big business in India and religion sentiments are easy to hurt. So how are you going to get people to realize that thousands of them in a tiny space can be dangerous? I understand the Maha Kumbh is a big religious affair, but that’s where crowd management comes into play, something the government had no provision for.
Lathi charging crowds at the platform was not the wisest thing to do and surprisingly there was no emergency first aid on standby at the railway station. It took hours for the injured to get medical aid and many succumbed to their injuries due to that.
It is predicted that another surge of people will be visiting the Maha Kumbh Mela on Febraury 15th and 25th for taking a dip in the Sangam as they are considered auspicious days. I cannot dare imagine what happens then!