6 Jul 2024

Uttar Pradesh: Bhole Baba Responds to Deadly Stampede at Hathras Satsang

Following a devastating stampede at his 'satsang' in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, claiming the lives of 121 individuals, Bhole Baba, a former constable-turned-self-proclaimed godman, conveyed his profound grief regarding the tragedy. 

In a recorded statement, he expressed, "May we find the strength to endure this sorrow. I urge you to maintain trust in the government and the authorities. I am confident that those accountable for the turmoil will face consequences. With the assistance of my legal representative AP Singh, I have requested committee members to provide ongoing support to the affected families and the injured."

The 'satsang' had drawn an enormous crowd of approximately 2.5 lakh devotees, far exceeding the 80,000-person limit set by authorities. The stampede occurred when attendees began collecting dust from the ground where Bhole Baba's car had passed, causing a chaotic scene that led to many men, women, and children falling over each other, resulting in numerous fatalities.

Narayan Sakar Hari's Trust will help victims

Since the stampede, Bhole Baba, also known as Narayan Sakar Hari, had remained elusive. His lawyer, AP Singh, assured that he would cooperate with the investigation. Singh stated, "We have district-wise lists of the victims, and Narayan Sakar Hari's trust will take care of the education, health, and wedding expenses of the families of those who died in the stampede."

Main Accused Arrested

The Hathras Police reported the arrest of Devprakash Madhukar, the 'mukhya sevadar' of the 'satsang', in Delhi. This brings the total number of arrests in the case to seven. 

'Surrendered not arrested'

However, advocate AP Singh, who also represents Madhukar, claimed that his client had surrendered voluntarily rather than being arrested. In a video message, Singh said, "Today, we surrendered Devprakash Madhukar, who was named the main organiser in the FIR in the Hathras case, after notifying the police, the SIT, and the STF in Delhi since he was undergoing treatment here."

Singh further added, "We had promised not to apply for anticipatory bail because we believe we did nothing wrong. What is our crime? He is an engineer and a heart patient. Doctors said his condition is stable now, and so we surrendered today to join the probe."

An FIR had been registered against Madhukar by UP Police in Hathras, making him the prime accused in connection with the stampede. The police had even announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to his arrest. Six others, including two women volunteers who were part of the organising committee of the 'satsang', were also arrested.

SIT report submitted to CM

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was briefed on the initial Special Investigation Team (SIT) report regarding the stampede. This confidential report, submitted by Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Agra Zone, Anupam Kulshrestha, includes testimonies from key officials such as Hathras District Magistrate Ashish Kumar and Superintendent of Police Nipun Aggarwal. The FIR was registered under various sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS).

The three-member SIT has so far recorded statements from 90 individuals. In addition, the state government has established a three-member judicial commission headed by a retired high court judge to further investigate the incident.

No comments:

Post a Comment