BAREILLY (UP) :
A STAMPEDE-LIKE situation occurred during a marathon organisedbytheCongressaspart of its election campaign here, leaving three girls injured on Tuesday, withofficialssayingthe turnout for the event was much higher than permitted. WhiletheCongressallegedthat the incident was a fallout of laxity on part of the district administrationandaconspiracy,theBJP said the opposition party was makinggirls“pawns” forits“petty politics”. “Permission was given for 200 children. However, the number of those who actually turned up for the event was much higher,” CityMagistrateRajivPandeysaid, adding that the incident will be thoroughly probed and action willbeinitiatedagainsttheguilty. Three girls, who participated inthemarathon,wereinjuredand they have been sent to the district hospital, he said.
“What led to the near stampede-like situation? What was the laxity? How a large number of children gathered there, and thepermissiongivenbythehigher education department are some of the aspects that will be probed,” Pandey said. TheCongresshasbeenorganisingmarathonsindifferentparts ofUttarPradeshunderits‘Ladhki Hoon, Ladh Sakti Hoon’ (I am a girl,andcanfight)campaignthat furthers party general secretary PriyankaGandhiVadra’swomencentric agenda for the upcoming assembly polls.
Alargenumberofparticipants of the long-distance run had gatheredaround9amataschool ground and video clips showed thatin a rush to race ahead, participants stumbled and fell on each other. Pandey claimed that the organisershad announced a scooty as first prize for the marathon’s winner. Participants wereoverexcitedtogetthescooty, leading to pushing and shoving, andcreatingastampede-likesituation, he said