States & UTs

    Hathras Stampede: "Six people arrested, Rs 1 lakh reward announced on main accused", says Aligarh IG

    The Hawk
    July4/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    A Rs 1 lakh reward has been declared for the capture of the main accused, Prakash Madhukar. The stampede occurred as devotees rushed to receive blessings from 'Bhole Baba'.

    Aligarh IG Shalabh Mathur

    Hathras (UP): Aligarh Inspector General of Police, Shalabh Mathur, said on Thursday that six people have been arrested in a stampede incident at a religious event in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.

    The Aligarh IG also mentioned that Rs 1 lakh reward has been announced on the arrest of the main accused, Prakash Madhukar.

    "The death toll stands at 121. All bodies have been identified and the post-mortem procedure completed," Mathur said.

    "When the stampede occurred, the six 'Sevadars' who are now arrested had run away from the site. Rs 1 lakh reward is being announced on the arrest of the main accused, Prakash Madhukar. Soon, a non-bailable warrant will be issued against him. We will also investigate if this incident occurred due to a conspiracy," he added.

    He also mentioned that the arrested six accused include four men and two women.

    "Rahbari Singh Yadav, Bhupendar Singh Yadav, Megh Singh, Manju Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, and Manju Devi have been arrested. They are all members of the organising committee and worked as 'Sevadars'. As soon as the information of the incident was received, all the officers of Hathras district not only reached on time but also assisted the injured. Given the programme of these people, organizing things completely, arranging parking, prasad for the people, etc. are the major responsibilities," he added.

    Earlier today, Uttar Pradesh Police conducted a search operation at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust in Mainpuri for 'Bhole Baba', a self-styled godman who conducted a 'satsang' in Hathras where the stampede took place.

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

    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.

    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 of 'Bhole Baba'. Later, they started pushing one another due to which several people fell to the ground, leading to chaos at the site.