Centre allots Rs two lakh for family of deceased in Pratapgarh stampede

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Friday said the Centre would grant Rs two lakh to the family of the deceased in the stampede that took place at an ashram at Mangarh in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

Addressing a joint sitting of both houses in Parliament, Dr Singh said, "The Central Government would provide Rs two lakh for family of deceased in Pratapgarh stampede."

Sixty-three people, all women and children, were killed and another 64 injured in a massive stampede at an ashram at Mangarh in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

The tragic incident took place when a portion of the entrance gate collapsed under pressure of the surging crowd that thronged the ashram belonging to Kripalu Maharaj to collect food and utensils.

The dead included 37 children and 26 women. An official spokesman put the death toll at 61.

The function at the ashram, located 80 km from the district headquarters of Pratapgarh and about 200 km from Lucknow, was held to commemorate the death anniversary of Kripalu Maharaj's wife.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident.

Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad would conduct the probe. He has been asked to submit his preliminary report within 24 hours after which the amount of compensation for the victims would be fixed.

A portion of the entrance gate was opened, but the structure collapsed under the pressure mounted by the crowd.

The dead were either crushed under the debris of the gate or killed in the ensuing stampede.

The injured were shifted to hospitals in Pratapgarh and Allahabad, and 39 of them were discharged after first aid. Two were referred to the Swaroop Rani Nehru Medical College Hospital in Allahabad with serious injuries.

A team of doctors rushed to the site and ambulances from Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Allahabad were kept ready to take those injured in the stampede to the hospital. (ANI)

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