Congress's Digvijay Singh slams Mayawati on stampede victim compensation

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Ahmedabad, Mar 7 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has slammed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for reportedly denying compensation to families of victims and those who were injured in the Pratapgarh Temple stampede.

Talking to reporters here, Singh said: "This is really shameful that Mayawati has refused to provide compensation to the victims. Mayawati has millions of rupees to build parks, to get statues of elephants and others installed, but has no money for the poor women and children who have lost their lives. She should feel ashamed."

Earlier, Mayawati claimed that the state was facing an "acute financial crisis" and was not in a position to give any monetary compensation to the families of those killed or injured in stampede.

In a press statement, Mayawati urged the Central Government to compensate the victims and their families.

"In view of the acute financial crisis currently faced by the state, I am appealing to the central government to be generous in giving away decent compensation to the families of those who have lost their lives or were injured in the unfortunate stampede at the ashram run by spiritual guru Kripaluji Maharaj in Mangarh village of Pratapgarh district," Mayawati said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh had announced a Rs. two lakh compensation from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of the victims.

Sixty-three people, all women and children, were killed and 64 were injured in a stampede at an ashram at Mangarh in Pratapgarh 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 function at the ashram was held to commemorate the death anniversary of Kripalu Maharaj's wife.

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. (ANI)

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