Devotees wait to board a train at Allahabad station on Monday. AFP photo
Ranchi, Feb. 11: Three pilgrims from Jharkhand were injured in yesterday’s station stampede in Allahabad that left 36 dead, while one is missing.
Retired schoolteacher from Ranchi Ganga Prasad Yadav (70) had gone to attend the Mahakumbh Mela with four family members. Yadav fractured his leg in the melee and is undergoing treatment at the Tej Bahadur Sapru Hospital in Allahabad, but more worryingly, his nephew Lakhan (35) is missing.
The two other injured pilgrims from the state are shop owner Ajay Prasad Gupta (40) from Latehar and homemaker Parvati (50) from Dhanbad.
“The station was teeming with people. I was caught unawares when all of a sudden people started running from one platform to another. Within moments I was on the ground and people were running over me. I saw so many people dying in front of me even as I struggled to save myself,” a feeble Yadav told The Telegraph over telephone. His only plea was that someone should locate his missing nephew.
Commenting on Yadav’s condition, senior medical officer of the hospital Dr R.S. Thakur said: “Yadav has been complaining of severe muscular pain and was admitted here last night. Routine check-up has been done and he is under observation.”
Gupta is also admitted in the same hospital with similar complaints.
“Pichhle janm me shayad koi punya tha, so bach gaye (I might have done some good in my previous birth so I am safe),” Gupta said. Recalling the incident, he added that a footbridge collapsed as people rushed to platform 6 from platform 2 to catch a Howrah-bound train.
“All of a sudden there was an announcement that the train will arrive on another platform and people started rushing. At the same time, the police resorted to mindless lathi-charge, hitting anybody in sight, leading to a stampede,” he said, adding that he was worried as he had not been able to contact his family back home.
Homemaker Parvati has been admitted in Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital (SRNH) with fractures and bruises.
As she was in no condition to talk, senior medical officer of the hospital Ajay Saxena said her condition was stable.
Superintendent-in-chief of SRNH Shradha Dwivedi said as most of the injured admitted in the hospital are in a state of shock, it had not been possible to collect their details. A helpline number — 0532-2256006 — had been set up to provide information about patients.
Meanwhile, Ranchi railway station has given special instructions to booking counters to provide tickets on priority basis to people who want to visit Allahabad to meet their near and dear ones who are either missing or convalescing in hospitals.
“Though we are not running any special trains, instructions have been issued to provide tickets to such people on priority basis. They can personally ask me for any help,” Ranchi DRM Gajanan Mallya said.