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Hathras Stampede: SIT Finds 'Satsang' Organisers Negligent, Blames Overcrowding

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the stampede in Hathras has recorded 119 statements and submitted a report on Tuesday. The report indicates that the committee organizing the ‘Satsang’ was responsible for inviting more people than permitted. According to sources, the committee failed to make adequate arrangements and the officials had not inspected the site […]

Hathras Stampede: SIT Finds 'Satsang' Organisers Negligent, Blames Overcrowding
Hathras Stampede: SIT Finds 'Satsang' Organisers Negligent, Blames Overcrowding

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the stampede in Hathras has recorded 119 statements and submitted a report on Tuesday. The report indicates that the committee organizing the ‘Satsang’ was responsible for inviting more people than permitted.

According to sources, the committee failed to make adequate arrangements and the officials had not inspected the site despite granting permission. The nearly 300-page report includes statements from 119 individuals, including family members of the deceased and injured devotees. Along with the police officers on duty on July 2, the SIT also recorded testimony from DM Hathras Ashish Kumar, SP Nipun Agarwal, SDM, and CO Sikandrarao, who granted permission for the Satsang.

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During the report’s submission to the government, Aligarh Commissioner Chaitra V and ADG Agra Zone Anupam Kulshreshtha were also present. An eyewitness to the incident stated earlier on Monday that the stampede was caused by a huge number of devotees trying to gather “Baba’s Charan Dhul,” or dirt off the godman’s foot. “The incident happened after ‘Baba’ announced that devotees should take soil from around his feet,” Mughalgarhi village resident Sudhir Pratap Singh said.

The believers hurried to gather the dirt, but as they did, they began to topple over and pile up.” “Baba’s convoy left the spot amid the stampede,” he continued. The only people that assisted the devotees who were there were the locals and the officials.” In the Hathras stampede case, the Uttar Pradesh Judicial Commission team recorded statements from multiple eyewitnesses.

In the meantime, AP Singh, the godman’s representative, asserted that the accident was brought on by guys who sprayed poison during the occasion. “The stampede incident at the Satsang was not an accident but a conspiracy,” Singh claimed, adding that the conspirators had left the scene after starting the rush.

The incident happened on July 2 at a religious “Satsang” held by self-styled godman Suraj Pal, also known as “Bhole Baba,” in Fulari hamlet in the Hathras region of Uttar Pradesh. The primary culprit in the case, Devprakash Madhukar, appeared before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Saturday and was given a 14-day judicial custody sentence.

The judge asked him if he had formal consent for the function and who gave it. In response, Madhukar stated that he had authorization from the SDM to host an event for 80,000 people. In response to a question regarding publicity, Madhukar denied any involvement.

Madhukar had been evading authorities, and a reward of Rs 1 lakh was declared for information that would result in his capture. On July 5, he was ultimately taken into custody in the nation’s capital.

The police also reported that Sanju Yadav and Ramprakash Shakya, two more accused, were taken into custody. “Bhole Baba” had earlier declared in a video address on July 6 that “those who created the chaos will not be spared.” Suraj Pal, a.k.a. Narayan Sakar Hari, the self-described godman, conveyed his sorrow and expressed sympathy for the victims of the incident.

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Hathras StampedeOvercrowdingSatsangSpecial Investigation TeamstampedeTDGThe Daily Guardian