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28 injured in Jalpaiguri vaccine camp stampede

A blame game has started between the block administration and the police and they are passing the buck at each other. State administrative officials have come to know of the matter and have decided to introduce a new system to avoid such untoward incidents in the future”

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

At least 28 persons were injured in a stampede that broke out at two government Covid-19 vaccination centres in Jalpaiguri district today.

Sources said eight persons were seriously injured and that they were undergoing treatment in the Birpara State General Hospital and the Jalpaiguri Super Specialty Hospital. One woman admitted to the Birpara hospital is said to be in a critical condition.

One incident took place at the Duramari Chandrakanta High School at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri, allegedly due to “mismanagement of the information system” while the Covid-19 vaccination camp was set up there. At least 26
people, including a police officer, Anjan De, were injured there, it is learnt.

“A blame game has started between the block administration and the police and they are passing the buck at each other. State administrative officials have come to know of the matter and have decided to introduce a new system to avoid such untoward incidents in the future” an official source said.

According to sources, hundreds of people, many of them were women, had assembled in front of the Duramari Chandrakanta High School since early morning today, as the main gate of the school was locked. Interestingly, the school authorities said they did not have information about the vaccination camp.

“Trouble broke out after the gate was unlocked, while police arrived there around 10 am, and people rushed into the school premises because another group of people had already entered the school via a back door to form a queue first,” the source said.

Health officials arrived there at around 11 am, the sources said. After the incident, administrative officials, including the Jalpaiguri ADM, Sub-divisional officer, the Superintendent of Police and other police officers reached the spot and inquired into the matter before reporting the incident to the higher authorities concerned, it is learnt.

A similar incident at a place called Nathua in the district also left at least two people injured, sources said. Darjeeling’s BJP MP Raju Bista, meanwhile took to Twitter to express shock at the incident.

“I am absolutely shocked and devastated to hear about the stampede at a vaccine centre in Dhupguri, Jalpaiguri, which has resulted in the injury of many. This tragedy and other such incidents can be easily avoided if the WB Government sends adequate vaccine to North Bengal region,” he tweeted.