Thursday, July 25, 2024

Day After 116 Die In Stampede, Top Cops Reach Accident Site, Guru’s Ashram In Mainpuri


Hathras stampede killed at least 116 people, including 106 women and seven children

New Delhi:

Baba Narayan Hari is likely to be arrested soon after at least 116 people died in a stampede at his ‘satsang’ (religious congregation) in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on Tuesday. The self-styled godman, whose original name is Suraj Pal and is also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, is believed to be at his ‘ashram’ in Mainpuri, about 100 km from near the Phulrai village, where he held the event attended by thousands of devotees.

Many senior police officials have reached the Hathras stampede site, while others are at his ashram, the Ram Kutir Charitable Trust. Besides police personnel, an NDTV team at the ashram also saw his devotees gathering in large numbers.

In Hathras, a forensic unit and a dog squad are at the stampede site. Teams of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are also present.

At least 116 people, including 106 women and seven children, were killed in the Hathras stampede. The Uttar Pradesh government said most of the people who died in the stampede have been identified.

A compensation of Rs 2 lakh each has been announced for the families of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.

How Hathras Stampede Happened

Officials said the place where the Hathras stampede happened was too small to accommodate the crowd that had gathered there on Tuesday afternoon. A woman who attended the ‘satsang’ said the stampede broke out as the crowd began to leave.

After the ‘satsang’, devotees rushed to touch the feet of the self-styled guru, causing a big crowd build-up in a small area, officials said.

Devotees had come to the ‘satsang’ from various districts of Uttar Pradesh as well as neighboring states.

A high-level committee has been formed to investigate the incident.

The panel will be headed by the Additional Director General of Police, Agra, and the Aligarh Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said.

Case Against Hathras Satsang Organisers

A case has been filed against the ‘satsang organisers’ in Hathras, officials said.

According to the FIR, permission was granted for 80,000 people but more than 2.5 lakh devotees attended the event.

“Due to the uncontrollable crowd leaving the venue, devotees sitting on the ground were crushed. On the other side of the road, the crowd running in the water and mud-filled fields was forcibly stopped by the organizing committee with sticks, due to which the pressure of the crowd kept increasing and women, children, and men kept getting crushed,” the FIR said.

“The police and administrative officials present on the spot made every possible effort and sent the injured people to the hospital with the available resources. But no cooperation was given by the organizers,” the FIR added.

They have been charged under sections 105, 110, 126 (2), 223, and 238 of the new criminal code Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS).

Godman Behind Hathras ‘Satsang’

Self-styled guru Narayan Saakar Hari has often claimed that he has worked with the Intelligence Bureau. He also told his devotees that he was inclined towards spirituality even when he was working and had resigned in the 1990s to pursue the spiritual path.

Born in Bahadur Nagari village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district to a farmer, Nanne Lal, and Katori Devi, he completed his initial studies in the village.

He was reportedly a head constable with the Local Intelligence Unit of the UP police. He left his police job in 1999 and then changed his name to Narayan Saakar Hari.

He claims he began working for the Intelligence Bureau after college and turned towards spirituality during his time there.

Hathras Stampede Helpline Numbers

The Uttar Pradesh government has launched two helpline numbers — 05722227041 and 05722227042 — after the Hathras stampede incident.

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