Bhopal, Oct 4: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta on Monday lashed out at Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh for politicising the stampede at Ratangarh temple in Datia district, and said its time to offer our condolences to the people rather than indulging in a blame game.
Gupta said there should be no politics on this untoward incident.
“Several unpleasant incidents had taken place earlier when Digvijay Singh was the Chief Minister. So, we should not play politics on this issue. We should express our condolences towards those who suffered because of this incident. If there are any flaws, then proper action will be taken after the inquiry. We do not take Digvijay Singh’s comments seriously,” he added.
Gupta said the administration is monitoring the situation there as of now.
“The condition is normal there now, but the search is still on because some people are feared to have fallen into the river. The administration is still engaged there,” said Gupta.
The Madhya Pradesh Home Minister further said only after the inquiry it can be determined as to who was at fault.
Digvijay Singh yesterday criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh Government, and said that despite a stampede near the temple in 2006, the police and the administration were caught napping.
“Postings of collectors and SPs in districts are made on the basis of the money they fetch,” Singh said.
“This is a common practice in the BJP regime and those getting postings in this fashion care two hoots for action in the event of a lapse on their part. I am told that policemen were taking Rs. 200 for letting tractor-trolleys pass the bridge, which led to the stampede,” he added.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Ratangarh temple stampede in Datia district has risen to 109.
The stampede was triggered by rumours that the river bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse.
“Some people spread a rumour that the bridge was falling. Their objective was to reach the temple quickly. They were unable to go due to a massive crowd. This led to the stampede,” said Deputy Inspector General Dilip Kumar Arya.
The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the untoward incident in which more than 100 people were injured on the bridge over Sindh River near Ratangarh temple.
Survivors alleged that some people spread the rumour that the bridge was on the verge of collapse, resulting in panic.
“My mother is dead and six people from my village were also killed. People were leaving from both exits after worshipping the Goddess. Suddenly, police arrived. They began shouting that the bridge had broken and they charged the devotees with batons,” said Vipul Pathak, a man who lost his mother in the incident. (ANI)