Tragic Stampede in Hathras Claims 121 Lives, PILs Filed in Allahabad High Court for High-Level Probe

In a heart-wrenching incident in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, a massive stampede at a satsang led by the self-styled godman, Bhole Baba, resulted in the tragic death of 121 attendees. In response to this catastrophe, separate public interest litigations (PILs) have been filed in the Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court, demanding a thorough investigation and accountability.

The Supreme Court PIL, initiated by a legal team headed by Advocate Gaurav Dwivedi, calls for the formation of a high-level committee. This committee, suggested to be under the oversight of a retired Supreme Court judge, aims to dissect the events leading up to the tragic incident. Furthermore, it proposes the creation of a five-member expert team to thoroughly investigate and provide a detailed report, ensuring legal actions against responsible parties.

Amidst growing public outcry, the petition also seeks a comprehensive status report from state governments on past stampede incidents and urges for the establishment of stringent guidelines for organizing large gatherings.

Parallelly, the Allahabad High Court received a PIL from advocate Vishal Tiwari, pressing for a CBI inquiry into the mishap. This plea casts blame on the district authorities for negligence, suggesting that such mismanagement fosters a growing distrust in governmental capabilities.

The event in question took place in Fulrai village and was attended by over 250,000 people, vastly exceeding the initially permitted 80,000. The Uttar Pradesh Police, in their preliminary findings, highlighted severe lapses in crowd management, including inadequate emergency preparedness and entry-exit controls. An FIR under multiple sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, has been filed against the event’s organizers, pinpointing ‘Mukhya sevadar’ Devprakash Madhukar among others.

In a response to the tragedy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the site and met with the bereaved families, announcing a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

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The elusive Bhole Baba, real name Narayan Saakar Hari, is currently on the run, with police raids conducted at several linked locations yielding no results. The search continues as the community reels from this devastating event, and calls for justice grow louder.

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