Hathras Stampede Tragedy: As the tragic accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras claimed 121 lives, Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi visited the district early on Friday. The LoP met the families of the victims of the stampede. The incident occurred at an overcrowded religious congregation of the self-styled godman Baba Bhole’s satsang on Tuesday. He visited Aligarh’s Pilkhana village to meet the victims’s families.

Yesterday, the UP police arrested six members of the organising committee which include two women. All victims’ bodies have been identified and returned to their families, said District Magistrate Asish Kumar.  

Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi visited Pilkhana village in Aligarh to meet the families affected by the Hathras stampede incident. The tragic event claimed the lives of four individuals from the village.

Surajpal, also known as Narayan Sakar Hari and Bhole Baba, has not been named in the UP police FIR. However, the police intend to question him if necessary. The probe authorities are currently unaware of his whereabouts. On Thursday, police searched his ashram in Mainpuri but were unable to locate him. 

Inspector General of Police (Aligarh Range), Shalabh Mathur, informed reporters on Thursday that all six arrested individuals were ‘sevadars’ (volunteers) at the ‘satsang’. Mathur mentioned that a reward of Rs 1 lakh would soon be announced and a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against the key accused, Devprakash Madhukar. 

The police have identified the arrested individuals as Ram Ladaite (50), Upendra Singh Yadav (62), Megh Singh (61), Mukesh Kumar (38), and two women, Manju Yadav (30) and Manju Devi (40). 

The initial report indicates that the stampede happened when Bhole Baba departed from the event venue, prompting his devotees to rush and gather the dirt around his feet.  

The Hathras administration claimed that 2.5 lakh people attended the event, far exceeding the permissible limit of 80,000. 

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an inquiry led by a retired Allahabad High Court judge. However, the Congress has called for a judicial investigation to be conducted by a retired judge. 

The FIR was filed on July 2 under sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, including 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 126 (2) (wrongful restraint), 223 (disobedience to an order issued by a public servant), and 238 (causing disappearance of evidence).

Bhole Baba resides in his Mainpuri ashram, an expansive estate spanning 21 bighas of land, named Hari Nagar. Six rooms within the estate are reserved exclusively for him and his wife.

Bhole Baba’s lawyer stated that the preacher will cooperate with authorities and claimed that the stampede was caused by a conspiracy orchestrated by anti-social elements.