The world’s largest religious gathering takes place during the Simhastha-Kumbh
GN Bureau | April 22, 2016
Simhastha-Kumbh Mela – the biggest congregation of Hindus -- began in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city on Friday and it is expected to see a footfall of around five crore.
The first ‘shahi snan’ takes place on Friday, while the second ‘shahi snan’ is scheduled for May 9. The third ‘shahi snan’ is slated for May 21.
Both the state government and the Centre have taken a number of measures for security and smooth functioning during the Kumbh that began on Friday and ends on May 21.
The Indian Railways have pitched in, anticipating the volume and pattern of rail traffic at Ujjain railway station and adjoining stations. Some of the steps include improvement of shelter at platforms, development of sitting space with sheds and constructing additional foot over-bridges.
About 25,000 security personnel have been deployed to check law and order and monitor the crowd. Around 500 CCTV cameras have been installed at various locations around the area. Help from bomb detection and disposal squads and sniffer dogs will also be taken to check any explosives
Many of these steps have come up as the state government does not wish to replicate the tragedy of the 2013 Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. On February 10, 2013, a stampede broke out at the Allahabad railway station, leaving 36 people dead. The stampede apparently broke out after a railing on a footbridge collapsed at the station. However, it was alleged that the stampede occurred because of the railway police who charged at the crowd with batons to control the huge rush at the station.
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