3 Jul 2024

Hathras Stampede: Toll rises to 122, PM Modi announces ex-gratia for victims, what eyewitnesses told?

The death toll in a stampede during a satsang in Ratibhanpur, Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has risen to 122. Many are still missing. Most of the dead include women and children. Saakar Hari Baba's satsang was going on in Fullerai village of Sikandrarao town of Hathras district on Tuesday. After the satsang ended, as soon as the crowd started leaving from here, a stampede occurred.

According to the ADG office of Agra Zone of Uttar Pradesh Police, the bodies have been taken to many places, so the exact number of dead will be known later.

The CMO of Agra said that there is no space left for postmortem in Hathras. 30 bodies have reached the Agra mortuary.

Hathras DM Ashish Kumar said, "When the gathering became too humid, people started leaving from there. At the same time, the accident happened. A committee comprising officials has been formed to investigate the incident. The SDM had given permission for this event."

DM said further, "It was a private event. The administration was on duty for law and order, while the internal arrangements were to be done by the organizers. What is the real reason for the accident will be known only after investigation. But at the moment the focus of the administration is that the injured people should get treatment soon." 

At the same time, the pictures that are coming out after the stampede in Hathras are very heart-wrenching. People from different states and districts also reached the satsang. Many eyewitnesses have told that the stampede occurred at the end of the programme when people were preparing to leave. A bus full of women had reached the satsang from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. 

What eyewitnesses told?

Rakesh, a survivor of the stampede, shared with the media, "I traveled here with my family from Agra. My brother's wife is missing. We have heard that numerous people are missing. Despite making announcements over the microphone, we have not had any success."

One of the missing persons is Maya, a 10-year-old girl whose family traveled from Mathura to attend the religious gathering. Expressing her distress, Chaya's mother lamented, "I have been searching everywhere for her."

Vandana, who works as a laborer in Jaipur, also came with her husband and 4-year-old son. Vandana said that she had not come alone, but more than 10 people had come in a big car. She said that when the satsang ended, there was a stampede. People climbed over each other in the stampede.

Another eyewitness said, "The satsang was organised in the honour of a local guru, Bhole Baba aka Narayan Saakar Hari. After it ended, people were not allowed to leave until his car left, causing a huge build-up of people in a small area."

People ran to collect the dust from Baba's feet

Eyewitness Dinesh present at the scene told, "After the program ended, people ran to collect the dust from Bhole Baba's feet. But when Baba went to the other side, people ran in that direction. In this process, many people fell into the pits on the roadside and then there was a stampede. Due to this, many people were crushed."

Brajesh said, "Most of the dead are women and children. The organizers and local people started taking the injured to the hospital. Meanwhile, the police also reached the scene in about half an hour."

Another person, Shri Dayal, said that he and his brother Saudan had also come to listen to the discourse. But after this incident, his brother is not traceable.

He told, "When people started leaving after the program was over, there was a stampede and many people got stuck in it. His brother is not traceable. The accident happened around 2 pm."

PM announces ex-gratia for victims

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the deaths in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras mishap and announced an ex-gratia for the next of kin of each deceased and injured.

Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured in the stampede from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

CM Yogi seeks report

At the same time, after this accident, on the instructions of CM Yogi, two senior ministers of the government and the Chief Secretary along with the DGP have also left for the spot. According to the information, the Chief Secretary and DGP will stay in Hathras on Tuesday night. CM Yogi Adityanath will go to Hathras on Wednesday. After this, Director General of Police (DGP) and Chief Secretary Sanjay Prasad will give their report.

Rahul Gandhi said, "My deepest condolences to the victim families and injured of Hathras accident. This unfortunate accident is very sad. I express my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and hope for the speedy recovery of the injured. The government and administration are requested to provide all possible treatment to the injured and relief to the victim families. All the workers of INDIA are requested to provide their cooperation in relief and rescue."

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