New Delhi/Lucknow, Feb 2 (PTI) Union Home Ministry, UttarPradesh government and Railways were locked in a blame gametoday over the chaos at a ITBP recruitment camp and ensuingmishap, as four more job aspirants travelling atop trainssuccumbed to injuries taking the death toll to 19.
The Centre hit back at the Mayawati government for theviolence and chaos that occurred during the recruitment campsaying "only a handful" of state policemen were present tomaintain law and order.
The UP government claimed that ITBP and the Centre didnot coordinate with the state on the recruitment camp. It alsoblamed alleged "mismanagement" of ITBP for the "chaos".
Contending that they had "no information about therecruitment drive by ITBP", Northern Railway General Manager SK Budhalakoti said Railways came to know about it only when alarge number of job aspirants started gathering at stations inBareilly and other places.
"We have successfully handled the crowd even during theKumbh Mela celebrations and we could have taken steps had webeen informed in this case," he said.
The death toll in the incident of ITBP aspirants fallingdown from the roof of two speeding trains rose to 19 todaywith four more succumbing to injuries, officials said inLucknow.
Three persons died in Shahjahanpur, while another diedin Hardoi, District Magistrate of Shahjahanpur Ajay Chauhansaid.
Fourteen youths travelling atop the Himgiri Express,were killed when they were hit by an over-bridge nearShahjahanpur yesterday while another ITBP job-seeker died whenhe fell from the Traveni Express in Hardoi district.
Over 1.5 lakh youths from 11 states, vying for ITBPjobs, had reached Bareilly to submit forms for recruitment inthe force yesterday. Hundreds of them travelled on rooftops oftrains while returning home.
The Union Home Ministry said that despite the clearrequest and advance intimation by the Commandant (ITBP), it islearnt that only a handful of police personnel were deployedaround the ITBP campus. When candidates started converging atthe ITBP camp for registration, initially the process went onsmoothly, it said
"However, as the crowd swelled, the Additional DirectorGeneral (Headquarters) at the Directorate General ITBP, whowas monitoring the process, even talked to the DistrictMagistrate and the ADG (Law and Order) UP requesting them toaugment the arrangements," the Ministry said in a statementin New Delhi.
The Ministry also produced four documents, submitted bythe ITBP to it, of official communication between local ITBPofficials and the state administration. .