Gangasagar stampede: Centre and state announce relief packages, local administration denies reports
Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira said the victims fell ill while trying to board a vessel to leave the island.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced Rs 2-lakh ex gratia for the families of those who were killed in the “stampede” in West Bengal’s Gangasagar. Those who got injured in the incident will get Rs 50,000 each. The money will be provided from the Prime Minister’s National Relief fund.
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. On Sunday, six people were killed and more than 10 others injured while trying to board a vessel to leave the island.
The state government said the victims, six elderly women, fell ill during the rush. Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira said the commotion took place because the vessel that was leaving the island was the last one for the next eight hours. District magistrate of South 24 Parganas, PB Salim, also denied the reports.
On Twitter, Modi said he was “saddened by the loss caused by the stampede”. “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” he said. Several thousands of pilgrims bathe in the Ganga river on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. The river merges with the Bay of Bengal at the spot. The incident followed the capsizing of a boat in the Ganga river in Bihar, killing at least 24 people.