West Bengal: Six dead in stampede in Gangasagar, centre and state announce relief
The PMO tweeted that ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh would be given to families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured
Six elderly women died at the Ganga Sagar Mela on Sagar island, located about 100 km to the south of Kolkata on Sunday during a stampede. Several others were also reported to injured. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to annouce ex-gratia for the victims, the West Bengal government has denied that the deaths were not caused by any accident.
The PMO tweeted that ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh would be given to families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.
“Saddened by the loss of lives caused by a stampede in West Bengal. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” the Prime Minister tweeted. “My prayers with those injured in the stampede in West Bengal. May they recover quickly.”
Officials from the Trinamool Congress Party-led state government have denied reports of the stampede even as they announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased, Deccan Herald reported.
Later, Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira told Press Trust of India that six elderly women died after falling ill during a rush to board a vessel at a jetty in South 24 Parganas district while returning from the Ganga Sagar fair.
According to government estimates, a total of 16 lakh pilgrims took the holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti this year. Pilgrims from West Bengal as well as neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha participated in the mela.