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04/07/24 | 1:21 pm

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

Six people have been arrested so far in connection with the stampede incident at a religious event in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh Inspector General of Police, Shalabh Mathur said on Thursday.

The Aligarh IG also announced that a reward of Rs 1 lakh has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the main accused, Prakash Madhukar.

The Uttar Pradesh Police conducted a search operation on Thursday at the Ram Kutir Charitable Trust, run by Suraj Pal, also known as “Bhole Baba,” the self-styled godman who held the satsang.

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

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

An FIR has been against the organisers of the prayer meeting, though Suraj Pal himself has not yet been formally implicated.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sunil Kumar said that Suraj Pal was not found inside the ashram located in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. “There were 40-50 sevadars inside the ashram. He (Suraj Pal) was not there,” he said.

Police personnel were deployed around the ashram early this morning.

Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the site of the stampede and ordered a judicial probe into the incident. An official statement said that a three-member judicial inquiry commission chaired by Justice (retd) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava has been constituted to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation into the Hathras stampede. The commission will investigate various aspects of the incident over the next two months and submit a report to the state government thereafter.

According to media reports, devotees rushed to seek blessings and collect soil from around the preacher’s feet after the satsang but were restrained by the security personnel. This led to a chaotic situation, resulting in several people falling to the ground and getting crushed. Some people reportedly ran towards a nearby muddy field, causing further chaos and resulting in injuries as people were trampled.

(With ANI report)

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