Rahul meets train accident victims

Kanpur: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who on Tuesday met those injured in the Kalka Mail accident at a hospital here, pulled up railway officials after the victims complained that they had not got the promised compensation.

During his nearly 40-minute visit to Hallett hospital, Rahul, who was accompanied by Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and senior rail and other officials, inquired about the condition of those undergoing treatment in the Burns, Emergency and ICU wards from their families and doctors, officials said here.

Rahul promised the victims and their families all possible help.

A few victims told Rahul that they haven`t received the promised compensation from the Rail Ministry yet. A visibly agitated Rahul expressed his unhappiness over the complaints and directed the rail officials to take steps to hand over the compensation to the victims as soon as possible, they said.

The railway officials said that they were facing some problems but Rahul dismissed them.

"I don`t know all this. You will have to immediately settle this," the Congress general secretary was quoted as saying by an official accompanying him.

56 of those injured in the train tragedy have been admitted to the hospital here while others are undergoing treatment in Allahabad and Fatehpur.

Gandhi was originally scheduled to reach here at 8 AM but due to a last minute change in plans, he reached Hallett hospital at 10:55 AM from Chakeri airport.

Rahul first met victims in the Burns ward of the hospital. After spending around 25 minutes there, he went to the Emergency room where he spoke to patients and their relatives.

"Rahul enquired about my health and if I was satisfied with the medical attention," said Irfan, who was travelling in the S4 coach of the Kalka express on Sunday, when the accident caused grievous injuries to his head and legs.

Another injured Iqbal from Fatehpur said, "Rahul saw my wounds and asked me if I was facing any difficulty in the hospital. He also directed Shriprakash Jaiswal to ensure that none of the victims faced any problems during medical treatment".

Jaiswal is the local MP.

Rahul also spoke to Dr Aanad Swarup, the principal of the medical college, and enquired about the condition of the injured. He asked if free medicines and medical treatment were being provided to the patients, to which Swarup replied in the affirmative.

"Rahul enquired about the two patients admitted to the ICU and expressed concern over their condition," Swarup said.

Meanwhile, a scuffle broke out between media persons waiting outside the hospital to speak to Rahul and personnel of Special Protection Group (SPG) and the police.

At Chakeri airport, Rahul spoke to some of the injured who were waiting to take a flight to West Bengal, the Congress leader`s aides said.

The Delhi-bound Kalka Mail from Howrah derailed on Sunday near Malwan station in Fatehpur, nearly 120 kms from Lucknow, leaving 69 people dead and over 240 injured.