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    IndiaUP Hathras Stampede: Death toll rises to 121, number of injured at...

    UP Hathras Stampede: Death toll rises to 121, number of injured at 28

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    Hathras (UP), Jul 3: The death toll in the stampede at a religious congregation here rose to 121 on Wednesday with Uttar Pradesh Police registering an FIR against the organisers, accusing them of hiding evidence and flouting conditions with 2.5 lakh people gathering for the event in which only 80,000 were permitted.

    Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to visit the spot near Phulrai village in the Sikandar Rau area where the stampede took place on Tuesday afternoon when a crowd of thousands gathered for a ‘satsang' by religious preacher Bhole Baba.
    According to the Office of the Relief Commissioner, while the toll has risen to 121, the number of people injured in the incident stands at 28.
    Of the total fatalities, 19 are yet to be identified, it said.
    On Tuesday Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Manoj Kumar Singh put the death toll at 116. Barring seven children and a man, all the casualties were women.
    While the state police lodged an FIR against the organisers, the congregation or ‘satsang' conductor Jagat Guru Saakar Vishwahari's name does not figure in the list of accused in the FIR though his name is in the complaint.
    The FIR alleged that the organisers hid the actual number of devotees coming to the ‘satsang' while seeking permission, did not cooperate in traffic management and hid evidence after the stampede, which broke out after people gathered there stopped to collect mud from the way the baba's vehicle was passing.
    The FIR apparently gave a clean chit to the police and administration, saying they did whatever possible from the available resources.
    ‘Mukhya sevadar' Devprakash Madhukar and other organisers have been named in the first information report (FIR) filed at the Sikandar Rau police station late Tuesday, a senior officer told PTI.
    The FIR has been registered under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita sections 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 126 (2) (wrongful restraint), 223 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant), 238 (causing disappearance of evidence), the officer said.
    In his FIR, complainant Brijesh Pandey said the ‘satsang' programme of the baba was organised between Fulrai and Mugalgarhi on GT road in the Sikandar Rau area by Devprakash Madhukar and others on Tuesday.
    The organisers sought permission for about 80,000 people for which police and administration made arrangements.
    However, over 2.5 lakh people gathered in the event. By not following the conditions of the permission, GT road witnessed traffic jam and police and administration officials were working to clear it, the FIR said.
    Meanwhile, the baba, who was the main speaker of the satsang came out at about 2 pm in his vehicle and devotees starting collecting mud from there.

    Due to the heavy rush of devotees, those who were lying down (for taking the mud) started getting trampled.
    Those running out from the spot were stopped by stick-wielding helpers of the baba standing on the other side of a three-feet deep field filled with water and slush due to which women, children and men got crushed, it said.
    Despite the pressure of the crowd, the police and administration officials did everything possible and sent the injured from the available resources to hospitals, the FIR said and added that the organisers and ‘sevadars' did not cooperate.
    The organisers tried to hide the actual number of people coming to the event by hiding evidence and throwing slippers and other belongings of the devotees in crops in nearby fields, the FIR said.
    On Tuesday, a team consisting of ADG Agra and Aligarh Divisional Commissioner was constituted to inquire into the cause of the incident.
    The report is to be submitted within 24 hours, the government said in a statement on Tuesday.
    Speaking to reporters at his residence on Tuesday, Adityanath said, “Our government will get to the bottom of this incident and give appropriate punishment to the conspirators and those responsible. The state government is investigating this entire incident. We will see whether it is an accident or a conspiracy.”
    He also slammed the political parties doing over the tragic incident and said, “Doing politics on such an incident is extremely unfortunate and condemnable. This is the time to heal the wounds of the victims, to sympathise with the victims. The government is sensitive in this matter and no culprit will be spared.”
    The chief minister said that whoever is found guilty will not be spared. (Agencies)

    Northlines
    Northlines
    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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