BBC NEWS (UK), TIMES OF INDIA, HINDUSTAN TIMES (India)
ALLAHABAD – At least 36 pilgrims on their way back from the world’s largest religious festival in northern India have died in a stampede late Sunday.
The death toll may rise again, as dozens of other injured were in a critical condition after the stampede at the Allahabad railway station in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
Tens of thousands of people were in the station waiting to board a train back home on the last day of the 55-day Kumbh Mela festival when railway officials announced a last-minute change in the platform, triggering the chaos, the Hindustan Times reveals.
Witnesses have blamed police action for the stampede, accusing them of charging with batons when the crowd started moving toward the platform through a footbridge – claims that have been denied by the police who stated it was simply a case of overcrowding.
A record 30 million people (the world's largest gathering of humanity) were drawn to the festival to dip in the sacred waters of the Ganges.
Meanwhile in neighboring Bangladesh, a bus carrying Muslim pilgrims who were also back from religious voyage to the Cox's Bazar district has fallen off a bridge south of the country’s capital, Dhaka, killing at least 16 people, BBC News reports.
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