Dumraon/Ara, Feb. 11: At least five persons from Bihar were among the 36 devotees who lost their lives in the stampede at Allahabad station last evening.
Around 30 people from the Buxar-Ara region who went to Prayag for a holy dip to mark Mauni Amavasya during the Maha Kumbh are still missing.
Nand Jee Rai, a teacher posted with the Raj High School in Dumraon, broke down at his residence in Badki Diyan village as soon as he came to know about the death of his brother’s wife and niece. This morning, the family members were anxiously waiting for the bodies of Indrasani Devi and her daughter Asha Devi.
Two other victims — Urmila Devi (70) and Chhote Lal Yadav — were from Buxar. Santosh Dubey, a resident of Dakhinaon village in Buxar district, told The Telegraph over phone while waiting at Allahabad City station this evening on his way back to Dumraon: “I can hear the names of the victims being announced over the public address system. The railway authorities just announced the name of Chhote Lal Yadav of Buxar.” The other identified victim from Bihar was Shiv Kumari of Dewaria village in Bhojpur district.
Asha Devi was a panchayat teacher posted with a primary school at Barisawan village in Sahpur block of Bhojpur district. “Gupteshwar Rai, husband of Indrasani and father of Asha, is my elder brother who lives in Chandwa Housing Colony in Ara. He is a retired income tax inspector. After marrying army jawan Anil Tiwary, Asha shifted her base to Barisawan. Asha is survived by a daughter and a son. The mother-daughter duo left for Allahabad on February 9 from Ara,” said Nand Jee Rai.
In Patna, chief minister Nitish Kumar blamed the mismanagement on the part of the railways for the accident. “The railway authorities should not have changed the platform in the eleventh hour keeping in mind the huge crowd on the auspicious day,” he said.
Buxar GRP sources said the men in uniform had made arrangements to receive the bodies at the Buxar railway station. Buxar district magistrate Vinod Singh Gunjial and superintendent of police S.M. Jain could not be contacted for their comments.
Sarvajeet Kumar, a resident of Dumraon town, was busy over phone inquiring about his grandmother who had left for Allahabad on Friday evening with a group of 40 women from different adjoining villages here. However, he and his family members were praying to God for the safe return of the elderly woman of the family till the report was filed. When asked, he said that his grandma had no cellphone and there was no trace of other persons, mostly women, accompanying her. “'We are waiting for her on Dumraon and Buxar railway stations and contacting the helpline numbers which was going busy for hours today,” said Kumar.
Raju Kumar, a resident of Rambagh locality in Buxar, told the pilgrims had left on February 8 for Allahabad and were about to return on Sunday evening from there.