Friday, October 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Maya wrests higher probe for her men
Tribune News Service and UNI

New Delhi, October 3
Railway Minister Nitish Kumar, conceding the demand of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, today ordered a high-level inquiry into the stampede at Charbagh railway station in Lucknow in which several BSP rallyists were killed on September 28.

The announcement of the inquiry came after forceful persuasion by the UP Chief Minister, who sought the intervention of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in the matter.

She met Mr Vajpayee, Mr Advani and Mr Nitish Kumar here today, demanding a high-level inquiry as well as compensation for the victims.

The Railway Minister announced the inquiry into the incident by a three-member committee headed by the Director-General of Railway Protection Force (RPF) after an hour-long meeting with Ms Mayawati at his Rail Bhavan office. He said he had also asked the panel to complete the probe in a week.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has also spoken to Mr Nitish Kumar in this regard and announced an exgratia payment of Rs 50,000 each to the family of the deceased from the PM’s Relief Fund.

Ms Mayawati later told reporters that Mr Vajpayee spoke to Mr Nitish Kumar over phone in her presence expressing concern over the tragedy and gave necessary instructions to him for the inquiry.

Presenting the state government inquiry report to Mr Vajpayee, she alleged that a last-minute change of platform by the local railway staff had resulted in the stampede among the people who were returning home after attending the BSP rally.

She said the state government report and press reports suggest the culpability of the local railway authorities.

The Railway Minister should punish the ‘guilty’ officials and give compensation to the kith and kin of those killed and to the workers who sustained injuries, she said.

Asked if expansion of the UP Cabinet figured at her meetings with Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani, she said the matter did not come up for discussion.

She said the expansion would be considered after the state government dealt with the stampede tragedy.

At least 18 persons were killed and 20 injured, some of them seriously.


"Rafiganj incident was sabotage"

New Delhi, October 3
Sabotage caused derailment of 2301 UP Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express near Rafiganj in Bihar on September 9, according to the provisional findings of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Eastern Circle. While 116 persons died in the accident, 154 others were injured. According to a press note issued here on Thursday, the finding is under consideration of the government. TNS

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