U.P. Hathras stampede updates: State Government forms commission to probe tragedy; Bhole Baba says ready to cooperate

CM Adityanath announces judicial probe into Hathras stampede, doesn’t rule out conspiracy; probe finds followers rushed for Bhole Baba’s ‘darshan’ before tragedy

Updated - July 03, 2024 10:37 pm IST

Published - July 03, 2024 11:38 am IST

Grieving family members of one of the victims after the stampede incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on July 3, 2024.

Grieving family members of one of the victims after the stampede incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on July 3, 2024. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

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The death toll in the stampede that broke out in a ‘satsang’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras rose to 121 on July 3 and police filed an FIR against the organisers, accusing them of hiding evidence and flouting conditions with 2.5 lakh people crammed into a venue in which only 80,000 were permitted. A day after the stampede in Phulrai village at a congregation by religious preacher Bhole Baba snuffed out the lives of their loved ones, stunned families tried to come to terms with their loss.

Also Read | Bodies of victims lay on floor, loud wails pierce the air

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a judicial probe into the Hathras stampede and said that among those killed, six were from other States: four from Haryana, and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Meanwhile, a public interest litigation was filed in the Allahabad High Court demanding a CBI inquiry into the stampede.

  • July 03, 2024 22:02
    Governor Anandiben Patel forms commission to probe Hathras stampede

    Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel formed a three-member commission to probe the Hathras stampede incident.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 21:34
    Bhole Baba ready to cooperate with State, says his lawyer, alleges ‘conspiracy’

    A lawyer representing Bhole Baba contradicted preliminary reports that the tragedy struck when his followers rushed to collect the soil touched by his feet. “Some anti-social elements hatched a conspiracy. When Narayan Saakar Hari left the venue, his vehicles left, our volunteers and followers failed to understand what was happening due to the conspiracy. This was done as per a plan and should be investigated,” lawyer A.P. Singh told PTI

    Mr. Singh said Bhole Baba is also ready to cooperate with the State administration and the police probing Tuesday’s stampede and has demanded an investigation into the entire matter. 

    Asked about the claims made in the FIR and a preliminary report made by the local sub-divisional magistrate, the Supreme Court lawyer denied the charges and said, “Narayan Saakar Hari never lets followers touch his feet. The mention of the charan raj is also false. There is no video or picture of such an act.” Mr. Singh added that he was representing Baba Bhole and the key organiser of the satsang held in Phulrai village in the Sikandar Rau police station area. 

    On his legal steps, he said, “We will visit the incident spot, consider other factors and take a decision accordingly. During his programmes, maps are made, permissions are taken and arrangements are made in adequate area.” Mr. Singh added that Bhole Baba has condemned what happened after his satsang. He claimed that the preacher’s sevadars and followers were extending support to the victims of the stampede and offering them food and medicines.

  • July 03, 2024 21:26
    U.P. Government to compensate victims from Rajasthan, MP and Haryana as well

    The pilgrims from not only Uttar Pradesh but also three other States lost their lives in the deadly stampede at Hathras, the Uttar Pradesh Government said as it announced compensation to the families of all deceased.

    The victims included pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, according to a statement released in Lucknow. Additionally, the pilgrims from 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh were also among the deceased.

    The district administration’s list of the deceased includes six victims from other States — one from Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), one from Palwal (Haryana), three from Faridabad (Haryana) and one from Deeg (Rajasthan).

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 21:09
    Who is Bhole Baba?
  • July 03, 2024 20:56
    NCW chief calls for Bhole Baba’s arrest, says he ‘must be involved in illegal activities’

    A team from the National Commission for Women led by chairperson Rekha Sharma and member secretary Meenakshi Negi met the injured women victims of the Hathras stampede incident and said most of the participants in the event were women. She said that there is a need to counsel and educate women, as they become easy targets for Babas in such events due to lack of education. She called the organiser Bhole Baba “illegal” and questioned whether the incident was pre-planned or initiated on somebody’s signal.

    Speaking with ANI, Rekha Sharma said, “In this tragic incident, the women were killed mostly which represents the strong presence of women in this event and as per the estimate, the number of women present in the event was said to be around 2 lakh, but we don’t have proof, as photographs were prohibited. I think that the Baba (Bhole Baba) was involved in illegal activities because he took permission only for 80,000 people but he gathered 2 lakh people and at the time of the incident, he just fled from the spot.”

    Adding to it, she said, “There should be FIR against the fled Baba and he should immediately be arrested. He should be questioned that whether the incident was pre-planned or occurred at somebody’s signal. The question is why he and his sevadaars fled from the site when such a big incident occurred.”

    Responding to the questions about NCW’s action on the incident, Ms. Sharma stated, “I have come to gather the “action-taken” report. I have met the DC and SP of the district. A team has been constituted under ADG Mathura and after they submit their report, we will see what comes under the report.”

  • July 03, 2024 20:53
    Devastated families recall Hathras stampede horror
  • July 03, 2024 20:12
    Chest injuries, asphyxia among causes of death, autopsies show

    Blood accumulation in the thoracic cavity due to chest injuries, asphyxia and rib injuries were the causes of death of the Hathras stampede victims whose bodies were brought to a hospital in Agra for post-mortem, a senior official said.

    Twenty-one bodies were brought to the S.N. Medical College and Hospital in Agra after the stampede at a religious congregation in Pulrai village claimed 121 lives.

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Arun Srivastava said according to post-mortem reports, people died due to blood accumulation in the thoracic cavity, asphyxia and rib injuries.

    He said 21 bodies of people from Mathura, Agra, Pilibhit, Kasganj and Aligarh, etc., were brought to the S.N. Medical College and Hospital and a team of doctors conducted autopsies.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 20:08
    Agra Police cancels two congregations of preacher Bhole Baba

    Two congregations of religious preacher Sakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba in this district have been cancelled, officials said.

    One of the ‘Satsang Sabhas’ was supposed to be held from July 4 to 11 in Saiyan and the other from July 13 to 23 in Shastripuram.

    DCP (West) Sonam Kumar said, “Permission for ‘satsang sabha’ of Bhole Baba in Agra district’s Saiyan has been cancelled after the Hathras incident. It was to be held from July 4 to 11.” “Another event at Shastripuram in Sikandra in Agra city from July 13 to 23 has also been cancelled,” he added.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 20:07
    NCW chief Rekha Sharma visits Hathras
  • July 03, 2024 19:43
    Bhole Baba blames ‘anti-social elements’ in first statement after tragedy

    baba statement.jpg

  • July 03, 2024 19:06
    Bhole Baba said to be present at Mainpuri ashram; officials remain tightlipped

    Baba is said to be present in an ashram in Mainpuri. A large number of police personnel has been deployed outside the ashram a day after a stampede at his satsang in Hathras district that killed 121 people and injured 31.

    However, the officials remained tight-lipped when asked if Baba was inside the ashram. Some police sources told PTI he indeed was inside.

    Police personnel, pooled from several police stations, have been deployed outside the ashram at Bichhawan and no one, including the media, is allowed inside.

  • July 03, 2024 19:04
    Baba kept body of adopted girl at home for two days hoping she would come alive: locals

    The locals said Baba is more than 60 of age and does not have any children.

    They said he had adopted a girl, who died around 16-17 years back. Baba had kept her body at home for two days hoping she would come alive.

    The police had to intervene and the girl was cremated thereafter, the locals told PTI.

  • July 03, 2024 19:03
    Bhole Baba’s native villagers praise him for not demanding donations

    The residents of controversial preacher Bhole Baba’s native village Bahadurnagar in Kasganj district praised him for never asking for any donation or chadhava (offerings) from anyone.

    Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, used to work in the police department. However, he left his job and became a religious preacher after he discovered that the people got attached to his ideas and congregated for his satsang (religious congregations).

    Earlier, he used to conduct satsang at his village Dham under Patiyali tehsil but he stopped after the programmes started getting crowded and the poor people’s crops were getting ruined. The residents of his village said the preacher never asked for donations or chadhava from anyone.

    When the PTI Videos team asked how Baba made a ‘Bhavya Dham’, the villagers said it was built out of the donations he received from the devotees, and added that he has not asked for anything from them. The women residents of his village said Baba’s conduct was very good and he only talked about things related to God.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 18:56
    U.P. Congress Chief Ajay Rai meets victims

    Grieving family members of one of the victims after the stampede incident at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on July 3, 2024.

    Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai met the victims of the Hathras stampede accident and said that the government should immediately shift the injured to another hospital for better treatment, as their condition is idle. He further demanded ₹1 crore and a government job as compensation to the bereaved.

    Speaking with ANI, the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief said, “The incident that occurred was very tragic and I feel that this government (Yogi Government) is insensitive, as they just granted the permission for the event without knowing the number of attendees. As per my estimates, the government is responsible for the incident. There should be strict actions against the administrators who granted the permission for the event along with the organisers.”

  • July 03, 2024 18:52
    Japan PM Kishida offers condolences

    In a message of condolence, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said that he was deeply saddened to learn that many precious lives were lost in the stampede that occurred in Uttar Pradesh.

    “On behalf of the Government of Japan, I pray for the souls of the victims and extend my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I would also like to express my sincere wishes for the swift recovery of the injured,” he said in the message posted on the website of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • July 03, 2024 18:45
    Followers rushed for Bhole Baba’s ‘darshan’, finds probe

    Chaos caused after Narayan Sakaar Hari’s followers, who tried to reach near his vehicle to seek darshan, were pushed by the godman’s security and a “slippery slope” resulted in the stampede that killed 121 people in Hathras, a preliminary report of the SDM said.

    Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sikandra Rao submitted the preliminary report on the stampede to the district magistrate (DM). The SDM, who gave permission for the ‘ satsang’ (religious congregation), was also present at the venue when the incident occurred, according to the report.

    It added that when the godman was leaving the venue, his followers started running towards him for a ‘ darshan’ and collect soil from around his feet. “ Satsangi women/men/children etc. started applying the dust of Baba’s feet on their foreheads (while trying) to get his darshan, touch his feet and take his blessings,” reads the report dated July 2.

    The situation worsened when more people waiting on the divider of the road ahead began running towards his vehicle, it said. “A large number of people were already standing on the dividers in the middle and on the sides of GT road, who started jumping from the dividers and started running towards Baba’s vehicle to get his darshan.

    “Then Baba’s personal security personnel (Black Commandos) and sevadars started pushing and shoving the crowd themselves to stop the crowd, due to which some people fell down,” the report states, adding this led to a panic and the crowd went out of control.

    “Due to which the crowd ran towards the open field in front of the venue to get relief, on the other side of the road, where most of the people slipped and fell due to the wet slope while descending from the road towards the field,” the report said.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 17:53
    CM Yogi Adityanath doesn’t rule out conspiracy

    Vinod being consoled after the burial of his mother, wife and daughter after the stampede incident at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on July 3, 2024.

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a judicial probe into the Hathras tragedy while not ruling out the possibility of a “conspiracy” behind the stampede that killed 121 people.

    He also said the “ sevadars” (volunteers working for the ‘ satsang’ organisers) should have taken the victims to the hospital. People were dying and the “ sevadars” fled, he claimed.

    “A judicial probe by a retired high court judge will be conducted into the incident,” he said. “If this is not an accident, then whose conspiracy is this? All of these will be probed. Retired officials of the police and civic administration will be part of the judicial inquiry and action will be taken against those found responsible.” 

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 17:13
    Instead of whitewashing, it’s government’s responsibility to take action: Priyanka Gandhi

    Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at the BJP over a stampede in Hathras, saying such incidents keep happening but accountability is not fixed by the government, which instead is only interested in “whitewashing” these matters.

    In a post in Hindi on X, Ms. Gandhi said, “Three times more crowd than permitted, no administration on the spot, no crowd management arrangements, no way to escape from the scorching heat, no medical team, no ambulance after the incident, no one for help, no doctors and facilities in the hospital ... such a long list of negligence but no one is accountable.” Who is responsible for the tragic incident that happened in Hathras, the Congress general secretary asked.

    “Sometimes hundreds of people die due to a bridge collapse, sometimes due to train accidents, sometimes due to stampedes. Instead of whitewashing, it is the responsibility of the government to take action and prepare a plan to prevent such accidents,” she said. But accountability is not fixed and such accidents keep happening, Ms. Gandhi said, adding that this is a very sad situation.

  • July 03, 2024 16:56
    PIL in Allahabad HC seeks CBI probe into Hathras stampede

    A public interest litigation was filed in the Allahabad High Court demanding a CBI inquiry into the stampede at a religious congregation in Hathras which claimed 121 lives.

    The PIL filed by advocate Gaurav Dwivedi said the district officials are “fully responsible” for the negligence that led to the stampede.

    In his petition addressed to the chief justice and other judges, Mr. Dwivedi has said that it was learnt through media that more than a hundred people had died and many were injured in the stampede that took place after the ‘satsang’ in Hathras district.

    The district officials have all the arrangements to deal with any untoward situation and the Uttar Pradesh government is spending a lot of money on the new technologies, the petition said.

    PTI

  • July 03, 2024 15:50
    Russian President Putin expresses condolences

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday expressed condolences over the stampede at Hathras.

    “President of Russia Vladimir Putin sent a condolence message to President of India Droupadi Murmu & Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi over the tragic stampede in Uttar Pradesh: Kindly accept the most sincere condolences over the tragic accident in Uttar Pradesh,” the Russian Embassy in India posted on X.

  • July 03, 2024 15:12
    Large number of police deployed at Bhole Baba’s ashram

    A large number of police personnel has been deployed outside the ashram of a religious preacher a day after a stampede at his ‘satsang’ in Hathras district kileld 121 people. 

    However, the officials remained tight-lipped when asked if Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, was inside the ashram.

    Police personnel pooled from many police stations have been deployed outside the ashram at Bicchwan here and no one, including the media, is allowed in. - PTI

  • July 03, 2024 15:10
    Yogi Adityanath hints at SoP for large gatherings

    “We will ensure such incidents do not occur in the future,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath 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.” 

  • July 03, 2024 15:09
    Satsang venue’s capacity was 80,000, 2.5 lakh attended

    The main organiser Madhukar had sought permission from the administration for around 80,000 people and the administration made the traffic and safety arrangements accordingly. However, around 2.5 lakh people gathered at the ‘Satsang’, causing heavy traffic on the road and halting the vehicular movements, the FIR read. 

    After the Satsang got over due to the uncontrollable crowd leaving the venue, those who were sitting on the ground were crushed. Organising committee members used sticks to attempt to forcibly stop the crowd running in the water and mud-filled fields, due to which the pressure of the crowd kept increasing and women, children, and men kept getting crushed, the FIR detailed.

  • July 03, 2024 15:07
    Injured undergoing treatment at various hospitals

    According to officials, of the 28 injured, six people are undergoing treatment at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh; six people are admitted at Deen Dayal Hospital in Aligarh; nine people are under treatment at Bagla Hospital in Hathras; one at Agra SN Medical College while six are undergoing treatment at Etah Medical College in Hathras. - ANI

  • July 03, 2024 14:50
    CM Yogi announces judicial inquiry

    Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced there will be a judicial inquiry by a retired High Court judge in Hathras stampede.

    He said that among 121 killed, 6 were from other States: 1 each from MP and Rajasthan, 4 from Haryana.

    -PTI

  • July 03, 2024 14:27
    SP chief Akhilesh Yadav holds BJP govt responsible

    Coming down heavily upon the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over the stampede incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras which has claimed 121 lives so far, Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the BJP-led state government is “responsible” for the tragic incident. He said that this was a very painful incident. 

    “It is a very painful incident. We are saddened by this incident. The Uttar Pradesh government and administration are fully responsible for this incident. The loss of lives in this incident is due to the negligence of the government”, Mr. Yadav said while speaking to reporters in Delhi. - ANI

  • July 03, 2024 13:37
    Crowd rushed to seek blessings from ‘Bhole Baba’, says Sub Divsional Magistrate report

    A day after the tragic stampede incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras claimed the lives of 121 people, the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of the Sikandra Rao division of the district submitted a prime facie report to the District Magistrate of Hathras on Wednesday.The prime facie report suggests that the stampede occurred as devotees rushed to seek blessing from ‘Bhole Baba’, the preacher at the religious congregation Satsang, as he was about to leave the venue after the prayer. _ ANI

  • July 03, 2024 12:50
    Relatives grieve

    Relatives mourn next to the bodies of their relatives outside the Sikandrarao hospital in Hathras district about 350 kilometers (217 miles) southwest of Lucknow, India, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Thousands of people at a religious gathering in India rushed to leave a makeshift tent, setting off a stampede Tuesday that killed more than hundred people and injured scores. (AP Photo)

  • July 03, 2024 12:32
    Forensic team arrives at incident site

    A day after the stampede incident in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh which has claimed 121 lives so far, the forensic team of the state police along with the dog squad arrived at the incident site to collect incident for a comprehensive probe. 

    A member of the forensic team said that the belongings of the devotees such as footwear and sheets were found at the incident site. However, he also said that he would not be able to reveal the details further.

    “There are no such specific things to collect from here, it is only the belongings of the devotees such as shoes and sheets used for sitting. However, we would not be able to reveal what further we have found”, said the member of the Forensic team.- ANI

  • July 03, 2024 12:16
    ‘Overcrowding led to the tragedy’
  • July 03, 2024 12:08
    CM Adityanath meets injured in Hathras

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday met those who were injured in the Hathras stampede, a senior government official said.

    The stampede at a religious congregation on Tuesday left 121 people dead and 28 injured.

    “The chief minister held a meeting with officials in the circuit house and met the injured in district hospitals,” the official said.

    A team consisting of ADG Agra and Aligarh Divisional Commissioner has been constituted to inquire into the cause of the incident. The report is likely to be submitted on Wednesday, the government said. - PTI

  • July 03, 2024 11:56
    Plea in SC seeks appointment of expert panel to probe tragedy

    A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking appointment of a five-member expert committee under the supervision of a retired apex court judge to probe the Hathras stampede incident which claimed 121 lives.

    The plea, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, has also sought a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a status report on the July 2 incident and to initiate legal action against officials and others for their negligent conduct.

    The petition has also sought a direction to all the state governments to submit a status of medical facilities available from the block/Tehsil to the district level to deal with incidents of stampede. - PTI

  • July 03, 2024 11:53
    Bodies of victims lay on floor, loud wails pierce the air

    Bodies lay scattered at a medical centre in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district on July 2 as people milled around them, wiping away tears and consoling one another.

    The heartbreaking scenes unfolded outside the district’s Sikandara Rao Trauma Centre, where victims, dead or unconscious, of the stampede that occurred at a ‘ satsang’ in Phulrai village, were brought in ambulances, trucks and cars.

    A woman sat crying among five or six bodies in a truck, urging people to help her get the body of her daughter out of the vehicle. A video clip showed a man and a woman lying lifeless in a different vehicle. Read more

  • July 03, 2024 11:50
    Who is ‘Bhole Baba’, the preacher linked to Hathras stampede tragedy?

    The stampede took place as people headed home after a ‘ satsang’ in the district’s Phulrai village, conducted by a preacher known as ‘Bhole Baba’.

    The spiritual preacher Suraj Pal, popularly addressed as ‘Narayan Sakar Hari’ or ‘Bhole Baba’, hails from Bahadur Nagar village in the Patiyali tehsil of Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh.

    His followers come from many places in the western and central parts of the State and neighbouring States, and prominent political leaders have also been seen in his programmes. Local sources said Mr. Pal had been a constable with the Uttar Pradesh Police until the 1990s in the local intelligence unit when he turned to spirituality, adopted a new name, and started giving public sermons about leading a pious life. Read more

  • July 03, 2024 11:49
    Tamil Nadu Governor, CM condole Hathras stampede deaths

    Governor R.N. Ravi and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday condoled the deaths in a stampede during a religious event at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.

    “Deeply anguished by the tragic loss of lives in the unfortunate stampede at Hathras. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families in this hour of grief. Prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the Raj Bhavan posted on social media, quoting the Governor.

    Mr. Stalin posted on social media: “My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Wishing a swift recovery to those injured. We stand with the affected people in this difficult time.”

  • July 03, 2024 11:49
    Rajya Sabha condoles loss of lives in Hathras stampede

    The Rajya Sabha on July 3 condoled the loss of lives in Hathras stampede

    Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhhar offers condolences on the loss of lives in the stampede in Uttar Pradesh Hathras.

  • July 03, 2024 11:37
    FIR registered against organisers of religious congregation

    The death toll in the stampede at a religious congregation in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras has risen to 121, a senior official said on July 3. According to the Office of the Relief Commissioner, the number of people injured in July 2nd’s incident stands at 28.

    Also Read: Hathras Stampede: Who is Bhole Baba?

    Of the total fatalities, 19 are yet to be identified, it said. Read more

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