Three people were on Sunday killed and at least 12 people injured in a stampede after a massive rally by BSP chief Mayawati at the Kanshi Ram Smarak Maidan.
“A few people coming down the stairs at one of the two gates lost balance and fell on each other. Shanti Devi (68) of Bijnore and another unidentified woman were killed in the incident due to suffocation,” police said.
Rumours of a live power line having snapped triggered the stampede. The injured have been rushed to a local hospital, a BSP spokesperson said.
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Party’s state unit chief Ram Achal Rajbhar, however, said the women died due to humidity and heat.
The BSP workers had gathered in large numbers at the ground on party founder Kanshi Ram’s 10th death anniversary.
In 2002, at least 12 party workers were killed and 22 injured at the Charbagh Railway station after a BSP rally in Lucknow.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced an ex gratia of Rs two lakhs each to the families of those killed in the stampede and issued directions to give proper treatment to the injured. BSP has also announced a solatium of Rs five lakhs each for kin of the deceased.
A BSP spokesman said one of the injured is in a “very serious condition” and has been admitted to a trauma centre.
Asked about the incident, BSP chief Maywati said police failed to make proper arrangements for the rally. She said she has asked her party men to “take proper care of the crowd and ensure that they return home safely”.