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Patna stampede toll rises to 33, Paswan blames Bihar govt

Stampede in Patna

Patna: With the toll in the stampede incident outside the Gandhi Maidan here going up to 33 today, Union minister Ramvilas Paswan blamed the Bihar government for “lapses” that resulted in the tragedy, though it was denied by the city’s district administration.

Stampede in PatnaPrincipal Secretary Home Amir Subhani told PTI that one more person died today, taking the toll to 33. 29 others were injured of whom the condition of four was stated to be critical, he said.

Of the 29 injured admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), 17 are women and 12 are men, he said.

Subhani, who along with Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey, has been appointed to inquire into the incident, said he would begin the probe with a visit to the spot at the Gandhi Maidan.

Paswan, who is the LJP President, while blaming the state government for the “lapses” that caused the stampede during Dussera also held rival parties JD(U), RJD and Congress “accountable” for the tragedy.

The minister, who visited the spot with LJP MP, Chirag Paswan, his son, also “trashed” the inquiry by Principal Secretary Home and ADG (Headquarters) ordered by the state government into the incident and instead demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Patna High Court.

“Its nothing but ‘lipa poti’ (eyewash)… What will they inquire when the people know that an insensitive state government made no arrangement for such a big event of ‘Ravana vadh’ which is watched every year by a huge mass of people.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh telephoned Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi again this morning and promised all help.

Meanwhile, state Health Minister Ramdhani Singh had to face the ire of the relatives of the victims at the PMCH and had to beat a hasty retreat from the spot.

As the minister came out of the hospital, a group of angry relatives of the victims thronged his car and shouted “Why are you coming here after 16 hours?”

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