U.P. Police searches Bhole Baba’s premises in Mainpuri after Hathras stampede

An FIR had been registered on the incident naming organisers of the prayer meeting but Bhole Baba has not been named yet.

Updated - July 04, 2024 04:52 pm IST

Published - July 04, 2024 01:23 pm IST - Mainpuri

Police personnel outside Ram Kutir Charitable Trust, the ashram of preacher Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, at Bichhwa, in Mainpuri district, on, July 4, 2024

Police personnel outside Ram Kutir Charitable Trust, the ashram of preacher Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, at Bichhwa, in Mainpuri district, on, July 4, 2024 | Photo Credit: PTI

The Uttar Pradesh Police conducted a search operation at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, on July 4 for Bhole Baba, the preacher who led a large religious event in Hathras where a stampede took place killing 123 people.

An FIR had been registered on the incident naming organisers of the prayer meeting but Bhole Baba has not been named yet.

Editorial | Avoidable tragedy: On the Hathras stampede 

Earlier in the day, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mainpuri Sunil Kumar said, “Baba has not been found inside the ashram. There are 40-50 [workers] inside the ashram. He is not inside, neither was he was yesterday.” SP City Rahul Mithas said, “I had come to check the security of the ashram. Nobody was found here.” The police force was deployed around the ashram early morning.

On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the spot and ordered a judicial probe into the incident. A three-member Judicial Inquiry Commission under the chairmanship of Justice (retd) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava has been constituted to ensure comprehensiveness of the subject matter and transparency in the inquiry, according to an official statement.

Also read | Hathras stampede: Six arrested, ₹1 lakh reward announced on main accused

The Judicial Commission will investigate the various aspects of the Hathras stampede in the next two months and after the investigation, a report will be submitted to the State Government.

The preacher ‘Bhole Baba’ identified as Suraj Pal is also known by the names of Narayan Sakar Hari and Jagat Guru Vishwahari.

As per the prima facie report, the devotees rushed to seek blessings and collect soil from around the preacher's feet, but were stopped by the security personnel.

Later, they started pushing each other due to which several people fell to the ground, leading to chaos at the site.

Some people ran towards the adjoining field filled with mud, due to which they fell and were crushed by other devotees, the report stated. "The injured were taken to the hospital by the police and security personnel present at the site," it further said.

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