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Hathras stampede: UP CM Yogi Adityanath orders judicial probe, visits victims of tragedy (WATCH)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Wednesday a judicial probe into the Hathras stampede, which claimed the lives of 121 people.

Hathras stampede: UP CM Yogi Adityanath orders judicial probe, visits victims of tragedy (WATCH) snt
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First Published Jul 3, 2024, 4:35 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Wednesday a judicial probe into the Hathras stampede, which claimed the lives of 121 people. After visiting the site of a stampede that resulted in over a hundred deaths at a 'prayer meet' organized by godman Bhole Baba, he highlighted that among the deceased, six were from neighboring states—four from Haryana, and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Also read: Hathras stampede: Bhole Baba had held 'satsang' even during Covid, here's what happened next

Adityanath specified that the judicial inquiry would include retired administration and police officials to thoroughly investigate the circumstances leading to the stampede. Emphasizing the seriousness of the investigation, he stated that the committee's mandate would encompass identifying responsibility for the tragedy, including any potential conspiratorial elements.

"We will ensure such incidents do not occur in the future," he said, adding the government may put in place a Standard Operating Procedure which will guide organisation of such events in the future. "We will ensure this."

Yogi Adityanath confirmed earlier reports this morning that the stampede was triggered by a tug-of-war within the massive crowd. One faction was pushing forward to touch the godman's feet, while another was attempting to exit the venue after the conclusion of the 'prayer meeting'.

"I spoke to some of the witnesses... they said that during the 'satsang', when women wanted to touch the godman's feet, a sea of people pushed forward and security (Bhole Bala's private detail) pushed back. Then they tried to cover up the issue," he said.

"And, when people were being taken to hospitals, the security team ran away."

On Tuesday afternoon in Hathras, a frenzied crowd, estimated by some to be over 2.5 lakh people, tragically crushed 121 individuals to death, including children. The gathering had assembled for a 'satsang' or 'prayer meet' led by Suraj Pal Singh, who identifies himself as Bhole Baba, a self-styled religious leader.

Over 30 people were injured and are in hospitals, and are out of danger, the UP CM said.

Meanwhile, local government and police officials are facing scrutiny over who authorized such a large rally and why adequate safety measures were not implemented.

Police have filed a case against a close aide of Suraj Pal Singh, known as Baba Bhole, and the event organizers. However, the FIR does not specifically name the godman himself.

As of now, no arrests have been made, and when questioned about the potential arrest of Bhole Baba, state police chief Prashant Kumar remained non-committal, stating that action would be taken based on factual findings.

Also read: Bhole Baba: Former UP cop who took VRS in 1990s to become religious preacher; check details

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