Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hathras stampede: ‘Bhole Baba’ not named in FIR, 2.5 lakh crowd – N.F Times


UP: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday, July 3, registered a First Information Report against the organisers of the religious congregation in the Hathras where at least 121 people died following a stampede. The FIR, however, does not name Baba Narayan Hari, who is also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, as an accused.

‘Mukhya sevadar’ (main organiser) Devprakash Madhukar and other organisers have been named in the first information report (FIR) filed at the Sikandara Rao police station late Tuesday, a senior officer told news agency PTI.

The stampede in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras that killed 121 people was triggered by a mad rush for dust. Men, women and children fell over each other, getting crushed, just to collect dust stirred up by the car of a self-styled godman. The organisers’ laxity and inadequate police force contributed to the tragedy.
The stampede took place at a ‘satsang’ addressed by self-styled godman Suraj Pal aka Narayan Saakar Hari, whose followers called him Bhole Baba.

According to the FIR, the organisers of the ‘satsang’ sought permission for a gathering of 80,000-odd people, but a crowd of over 2.5 lakh turned up.

After the gathering, when the ‘godman’ was leaving, there was a rush among his followers to collect dust from his car’s tyre trail. This triggered a killer stampede in which scores of people, including women and children, were trampled.

The FIR states that Suraj Pal’s aides, known as sevadars, were carrying sticks and stopped the crowd from approaching the ‘godman’ and the rushing people fell on each other, suffocating the ones below.

According to eyewitnesses, only about 40 police personnel were on duty to ensure safety at this massive gathering and they were overwhelmed when the stampede broke out.


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