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Hathras stampede due to over crowding: SIT says in its report to CM Yogi, no mention of Bhole Baba's fault

So far, eleven people, including the chief organiser and fund-raiser of the July 2 event Devprakash Madhukar, have been arrested in the case. However, preacher Surajpal alias 'Bhole Baba' is not mentioned as an accused.

Reported By : Vishal Singh Edited By : Anurag Roushan
Hathras
Updated on: July 09, 2024 13:14 IST
Hathras stampede: SIT to submit report to CM Yogi today
Image Source : PTI Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit at the site of the Hathras stampede.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday submitted its report to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in connection with the Hathras tragedy which claimed the lives of 121 people on July 2. The team has attributed overcrowding as the primary cause behind the tragic event. Earlier on Monday, the detailed investigation report was submitted to the administration by ADG Agra Zone and Commissioner Aligarh. Based on the report of the inquiry committee, 6 officers including SDM, CO and Tehsildar were suspended.The SIT, led by ADG Agra Zone Anupam Kulshrestha and Commissioner Aligarh Chaitra B., recorded statements from approximately 150 individuals, including government employees and the victim's family members. The CM had demanded the report within 24 hours of the incident. However, the two-member committee took six days to complete their report.

The investigation also covered the compliance with the event's conditions, highlighting the local administration's responsibility for not making adequate arrangements despite the large crowd. According to sources, the two-member committee found the organisers guilty of the incident. It has also been revealed that there were insufficient crowd management measures, which, if properly implemented, could have significantly reduced the death toll.

Key points of SIT report 

  • The SIT has also found the satsang organiser and the tehsil-level police and administration guilty. The local SDM, CO, Tehsildar, Inspector, Outpost Incharge are responsible for the negligence in discharging their responsibilities. 
  • Deputy District Magistrate of Sikandra Rao gave permission to organise the event without inspecting the venue and did not even inform the senior officials.
  • Deputy District Magistrate Sikandra Rao, Police Area Officer Sikandra Rao, Police Station Head Sikandra Rao, Tehsildar Sikandra Rao, Outpost Incharge Kachaura and Outpost Incharge Pora have been suspended by the government.
  • The organisers took permission to organise the event by hiding the facts. The conditions applicable to the permission were not complied with. The organisers did not make adequate and smooth arrangements by inviting the unexpected crowd. Nor were the conditions of permission given by the local administration for the programme followed.
  • People associated with the organising committee have been found guilty of spreading chaos. The people who were added by them without proper police verification led to chaos.
  • The police were misbehaved by the organising committee. An attempt was made to stop the local police from inspecting the venue.
  • Participants of the satsang and the crowd were allowed to meet without any security arrangements. In view of the huge crowd, no barricading or passage arrangements were made and when the accident occurred, the members of the organising committee ran away from the spot.

Report has no mention of Bhole Baba's fault

Notably, the report does not currently mention any fault of self-styled godman Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias 'Bhole Baba'. Meanwhile, the judicial commission set up by the Uttar Pradesh government will speak to anyone required for its inquiry into the incident, a probe panel member said. The commission will also issue a public notice soon, asking local people and witnesses of the tragic incident to share any evidence related to the stampede, along with their statement, another member and chairperson of the panel retired Allahabad High Court judge Brijesh Kumar Shrivastava told reporters in Hathras.

Hathras stampede claims 121 lives 

According to the Uttar Pradesh government, the majority of the 121 individuals who died in the stampede during the 'satsang' in Sikandra Rao have been identified. The event drew devotees from various districts across Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states. Efforts are being made to identify the remaining bodies, officials said. They said the tragedy occurred when devotees tried to get a glimpse of Bhole Baba as the event ended. 

ALSO READ: Hathras stampede kills over 120: Why are religious gatherings in India prone to such tragedies? EXPLAINED

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