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Hathras stampede toll rises to 121

Uttar Pradesh Police have filed an FIR against the organisers of the religious event in Hathras….reports Asian Lite News

The death toll in the stampede incident which occurred in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday has gone up to 121. Around 28 people have sustained injuries in the incident, the Office of Relief Commissioner said on Wednesday.

According to officials, Of the 28 injured, six people are undergoing treatment at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh; six people are admitted at Deen Dayal Hospital in Aligarh; nine people are under treatment at Bagla Hospital in Hathras; one at Agra SN Medical College while six are undergoing treatment at Etah Medical College in Hathras.

Uttar Pradesh police have launched a search operation at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust in Mainpuri district in search of Narayan Saakar Hari also known as Bhole Baba, the preacher of the ‘Satsang’ in Hathras, where the stampede incident occurred on Tuesday claiming lives of over hundred people and leaving dozens of others injured.

The preacher however remains untraceable. “We did not find Baba ji inside the campus. He is not here,” Deputy SP Sunil Kumar said earlier.

Uttar Pradesh Police have filed an FIR against the organisers of the religious event in Hathras. ‘Mukhya Sewadar’ Devprakash Madhukar and other organizers have been named as accused in the case registered at Sikandara Rao police station on Tuesday night.

An eyewitness in the Hathras stampede incident, Shakuntala Devi said, “There was a Satsang of Bhole Baba going on. Right after the Satsang finished, several people started coming out from there. A stampede took place as the road was uneven and people fell on each other…”

Yogi vows action

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday vowed a thorough investigation into the incident to determine whether it was an “accident or a conspiracy.”

Yogi affirmed that the state government is committed to uncovering the truth behind the Hathras incident.

“Doing politics instead of expressing condolences on such an incident is extremely unfortunate and condemnable. The government is already sensitive in this matter and the government will get to the bottom of this matter whether this is an accident or a conspiracy, and give appropriate punishment to all those responsible for this incident”, he said.

Akhilesh questions govt

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party MP Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday questioned the government over the preparations when it was aware that there would be a large gathering at an event.

“We got this information when we were in the Parliament. The question is what was the government doing when such an incident took place? So many people have lost their lives. It is sad that if the government knew that there would be a large gathering at an event, what did they do for their safety? They are responsible for this. Help should be provided to the families of the deceased. I hope that the government will ensure the best treatment for the injured,” Yadav said.

Aligarh Commissioner Chaitra V said, “116 people have been confirmed dead. 18 people are injured. Treatment is being ensured for the injured in Aligarh district. A primary investigation is being carried out.”

Preacher who led the congregation not named in FIR

Bhole Baba, the religious preacher who led the religious congregation at Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras where a stampede killed at least 116 people on Tuesday, has not been named in the first information report (FIR) registered at Sikandra Rau police station of Hathras district.

The FIR has been registered under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita sections 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 126 (2) (wrongful restraint), 223 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant), 238 (causing disappearance of evidence).

Devdas Madhukar, the head sevadar has been named beside other organisers, in the FIR filed by Brijesh Pandey.

According to the FIR, contrary to the expected number of 80,000 as claimed by organisers, there was a gathering of about 2.5 lakh followers at the satsang (religious congregation) organised on Tuesday which in turn led to a traffic jam on the national highway alongside where the satsang was underway before ending at 2pm.

The organisers sought permission for about 80,000 people for which police and administration made arrangements.

At about 2pm on Tuesday, the convoy of Bhole Baba moved out of the venue for satsang after which there was a rush among followers to collect “raj” (dust) from where he or his car passes, the FIR stated.

Due to the heavy rush of devotees, those who were lying down (for taking the mud) started getting trampled.

Those running out from the spot were stopped by stick-wielding helpers of the preacher standing on the other side of a three-feet deep field filled with water and slush due to which women, children and men got crushed, the FIR said.

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