Allahabad station stampede leads to the death of Maha Kumbh Mela pilgrims

India News Bulletin Desk

At least 36 people are feared dead after a stampede at Allahabad station on Sunday, the most auspicious day of Kumbh Mela. The stampede occurred after a station footbridge collapsed under pressure from the crowd, according to reports.

Crowd at Allahabad station on Sunday for Mauni Amavasya Snan
Image: YouTube still

A majority of those dead were devotees of the Maha Kumbh Mela festival who were in Allahabad for the Mauni Amavasya Snan one of the most significant and auspicious day of the religious festival. As many as 30 million Hindu religious pilgrims from across the country were said to have been in the town on Sunday to take the “holy dip”.

At least 36 people died after a stampede occurred at Allahabad station
Image: YouTube still

 Among the victims, a majority (23) were women. In addition to the dead, at least 30 other pilgrims were injured.

The railway ministry has blamed the strain on the station as tens of thousands of pilgrims used it on Sunday to get in and out of Allahabad.

Azam Khan, the cabinet member who was the head of Kumbh Mela management committee, has resigned following the stampede citing "moral responsibility". The government is preparing to launch an inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident.

Maha Kumbh Mela is one of the most important festivals for Hindu religious followers as it occurs once every 144 years. It takes place in Allahabad, northern India. Over 14,000 policemen and paramilitary forces were deployed in Allahabad on Sunday to ensure the smooth running of the festival.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed his shock at the unfortunate incident. Singh has also instructed the Railway Ministry to provide all necessary assistance to the affected persons. “The government assures an ex gratia payment to the families of those who have lost their dear ones and to those who are injured from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund,” he said.

The UP state government and the local police are now working together to decongest the station as well as arranging for additional trains from Allahabad station.

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