Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday refrained from blaming anyone for the railway station stampede, indicating it would not be fair to do so at this stage.
"I would not like to jump the gun as of now and would wait for the inquiry report to come to me," he said after airdashing to the city. He warned strict action would follow if some officials were found guilty of lapses.
Talking to journalists at the Swaroop Rani Nehru (SRN) Hospital here, Yadav said he had not come to politicise the issue, but would have nothing to say if railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal wanted to play politics over the tragedy.
Describing the railway station incident as most unfortunate, he said, "It is a very sad moment for all those involved in the arrangements for Kumbh and we are trying our best to ensure that the remaining days of Kumbh Mela pass off peacefully, and the safety and security of the people coming here is guaranteed by the state government."
Till the fateful Sunday, he pointed out, the Kumbh Mela was going on well and visitors, media and foreign tourists were appreciating the arrangements done by the state administration.
He recalled that he himself had visited the city twice to oversee the arrangements for the Kumbh, the biggest religious congregation on earth. When asked why he did not come to the city immediately after the tragedy, the CM said the state government had been alive to the situation ever since the incident took place.
Two senior ministers were sent to the city immediately and senior officers, including the commissioner, the IG, the DM and others, had been carrying out their responsibility well, he added. The CM avoided commenting on the resignation of Azam Khan as chairman of the Kumbh Mela arrangement committee and the demand for a judicial probe.
On why medical aid reached the victims late, he said the ambulances had a tough time negotiating their way through the massive crowd on the roads. The chief minister, who met every injured pilgrim, noted that the injured from Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, among others, appreciated the treatment and care given by the doctors in the state.
He handed over Rs. 5,000 cash and cheques for Rs. 1 lakh to those injured in the stampede. Besides, Rs. 1 lakh more would be given to the injured later, officials said.
Uttar Pradesh has already enhanced to Rs. 7 lakh the ex gratia payment announced for the families of the dead. Yadav earlier visited the railway station for an on-the-spot inspection of the stampede site.