Two killed, 21 injured in stampede at Mayawati’s rally in Lucknow

Eyewitnesses said that the stampede, which started when people were leaving the venue after Mayawati’s speech, left several lying unconscious on the ground.

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Published:October 10, 2016 2:42 am
 stampede, mayawati, mayawati rally, stampede, mayawati rally stampede, up rally stampede, mayawati rally stampede death, bsp rally, bsp rally stampede, kanshi ram rally, indian express news, bsp stampede, india news After the stampede at the rally venue, Sunday. Source: Pramod Adhikari

TWO WOMEN were killed and 21 people injured in a stampede Sunday at the main gate of the Kanshi Ram Smarak Sthal after BSP chief Mayawati addressed a huge gathering there to mark party founder Kanshi Ram’s tenth death anniversary.

Eyewitnesses said that the stampede, which started when people were leaving the venue after Mayawati’s speech, left several lying unconscious on the ground.

Police identified one of the two dead as Shanti Devi of Kanpur Dehat district, while the other was yet to be identified.

A view of the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal where several supporters of BSP were injured during Mayawati's rally on the death anniversary of Kanshi Ram, in Lucknow on Sunday. (PTI Photo) A view of the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal where several supporters of BSP were injured during Mayawati’s rally on the death anniversary of Kanshi Ram, in Lucknow on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

The injured were rushed to Lok Bandhu Raj Narain Hospital, near the venue, where the two women were declared brought dead, and 17 others admitted for treatment, said Dr B K Singh of the hospital. At least three of the injured were yet to be identified.

Four others, who were seriously injured, were taken to Balrampur Hospital in Lucknow, from where two of them were transferred to the trauma centre of the King George’s Medical University.

Eight of the injured were from Azamgarh district, said police, and the others from Lakhimpur Kheri, Ballia, Jaunpur, Pratapgarh, Gorakhpur and Sitapur.

Pitailal Maurya, from Babaganj in Pratapgarh district, said the stampede was triggered by a group of people who started to push their way out of the venue. “Within a few minutes, several men and women were lying on the ground and others running over them,” he said.

Sunil, a resident of Gopalpur in Azamgarh district, whose mother Shanti Devi was injured on the chest, claimed that the stampede started after two or three men tried to snatch a woman’s jewellery.

Later, the BSP blamed the “lackadaisical arrangement by police and the SP government” for the stampede. The party alleged that “no special arrangements” were made for the huge crowd.

BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who visited the injured along with other party leaders, said the party would provide Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the two dead.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the two women. A government spokesperson said hospital authorities were asked to provide proper care and treatment to the injured.