Deadly stampede at religious gathering in Hathras claims over 121 lives

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Tragic Stampede in Hathras
Hathras stampede (Photo - Web)

A tragic stampede at a religious congregation in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh has resulted in the deaths of at least 121 people, including over 100 women and seven children. The incident occurred on Tuesday during a satsang (religious gathering) organized by self-styled godman ‘Bhole Baba’, also known as Narayan Saakar Hari.

According to officials, the venue was too small to accommodate the massive crowd that had gathered. The stampede reportedly broke out as attendees were leaving the event, with some rushing to collect dust from the tires of the godman’s departing vehicle.

Authorities have filed a case against the event organizers, noting that while permission was granted for 80,000 people, the actual attendance exceeded 2.5 lakh. The FIR states that organizers forcibly stopped the crowd with sticks, exacerbating the situation.

“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.

‘Bhole Baba’, whose real name is Suraj Pal, is believed to be at his ashram in Mainpuri, about 100 k.m. from the incident site. Police officials have reached both the stampede location and his ashram.

The Uttar Pradesh government has announced compensation of ₹2 lakh for the families of the deceased and ₹50,000 for the injured.

A high-level committee headed by the Additional Director General of Police, Agra, and the Aligarh Commissioner has been formed to investigate the incident.

The state government has launched two helpline numbers – 05722227041 and 05722227042 – for information related to the tragedy.

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