ALLAHBAD -- With the latest reports coming in, around 36 people were left dead by a stampede in a train station in Allahabad district of India where tens of millions of people took bath in the holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna on Sunday here.
The victims include 26 women, 9 men and a child, official sources said, adding bodies of 20 of the deceased have been identified.
The stampede occurred at 7pm on Sunday at platform nos 5 and 6 where the passengers, mostly MahaKumbh devotees, who were returning after the holy dip.
Eye witness accounts state that the police resorted to lathicharge (baton-charge) to disperse the crowds who had gathered and had disabled any motion in the platforms. This is turn led to the stampede which ultimately cost the lives of as many as 36 people who were simple religious people returning home.
The state government has sanctioned Rs. 500,000 to the kin of each dead person.
The Kumbh Mela has its origins in Hindu mythology.
Many believe that when gods and demons fought over a pitcher of nectar, a few drops fell in the cities of Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar - the four places where the Kumbh festival has been held for centuries every 12 years and for every 12 Kumbh Mela it is one MahaKumbh which is held every 144 years. After the MahaKumbh in 2013, the next one will be held in year 2157 although the next Kumbh Mela is on 2025.