Hathras stampede: Rahul Gandhi meets kin of victims, urges ‘best possible’ aid

Hathras stampede: Don’t want to make it political but lapses on part of administration, says Rahul after meeting kin of victims

There have been some lapses on part of the administration which should be identified, says the Leader of Opposition

Updated - July 05, 2024 09:35 pm IST

Published - July 05, 2024 09:09 am IST - Aligarh

Former Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, visited Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on July 5 and met with the grieving families who lost their relatives in the stampede incident that killed 121 people.

The tragedy occurred at a satsang (religious gathering) on Tuesday. Mr. Gandhi said that negligence of the administration cannot be ruled out in the incident but the most important issue is providing the affected families the “best possible compensation”.

Mr. Gandhi, who travelled by road from Delhi to Hathras on July 5 morning, also stopped in Aligarh to meet the grieving relatives of the victims.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi met the family members of the Hathras stampede victims on July 5, in Pilakhna, Aligarh.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi met the family members of the Hathras stampede victims on July 5, in Pilakhna, Aligarh. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Gandhi said, “It is a matter of grief that so many families have suffered, so many have lost their lives. I don’t want to speak through a political prism, but there have been some lapses on part of the administration. There have been mistakes, which should be identified.”

The Congress leader said the families of most victims were poor and needed assistance. He further urged Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to provide “maximum compensation” to them.

“They are poor people and they need it [compensation] now. If you give them aid after six months, after a year or delay it, it will not benefit anyone,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Speaking about his interactions with the affected families, Mr. Gandhi said that most of them told him that there was lapse on the part of the administration.

“They said adequate police deployment was not there. They are grieving and are in shock. I am trying to understand their situation,” he said.

Mrityunjay Bharti (22), a resident of Aligarh, whose grandmother was one of the the victims of the tragedy, said that Mr. Gandhi had promised to raise the matter in Parliament so that such incidents do not happen in future.

Also read | Avoidable tragedy: On the Hathras stampede 

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the U.P. government to probe the cause of one of the worst stampedes in India, said it had recorded 90 statements of survivors.

Anupam Kulshrestha, the Additional Director-General of Police, Agra Zone and head of the SIT, told media persons that a preliminary report has been submitted to the authorities concerned.

“Definitely, the gathered evidence suggests culpability on part of the organisers of the event,” she said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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