Plea in Supreme Court Seeks Probe by Retired Judge into Hathras Stampede Tragedy

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been submitted to the Supreme Court demanding the establishment of a high-level committee led by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the tragic stampede at a religious gathering in Hathras, which has resulted in 121 fatalities to date. The incident occurred during a satsang held by the congregation of ‘Bhole Baba’.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, the petitioner, has requested the formation of a five-member expert committee to thoroughly investigate the incident and to pursue legal action against the individuals and officials deemed responsible. The PIL not only seeks accountability but also a comprehensive review of past stampedes, urging all state governments, including Uttar Pradesh, to submit reports on such incidents. It further calls for the Supreme Court to collate information on preventative measures and future safeguards.

Moreover, the petitioner has advocated for the establishment of stringent guidelines for organizing large gatherings to prevent such disasters in the future.

In a related development, a separate PIL was filed in the Allahabad High Court, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the same incident. Following these legal motions, the Uttar Pradesh Police have initiated an investigation, registering an FIR against the event organizers. The FIR outlines that the organizers had permission for 80,000 attendees; however, the crowd swelled to over 250,000, leading to the fatal stampede. The complaint also accuses the organizers of failing to assist the victims and allegedly destroying evidence post-incident.

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Amidst these legal proceedings, Narayan Sakar Hari, also known as Bhole Baba—a self-proclaimed spiritual leader whose event was marred by the calamity—is reportedly absconding. Police operations have been conducted at his known addresses within Uttar Pradesh, but efforts to locate him have been unsuccessful thus far.

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