Hathras stampede: SIT submits report to UP govt, hints at Baba’s political links

Lucknow: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Hathras stampede, has submitted its report on the tragedy, which claimed at least 121 lives, to the Uttar Pradesh government.

The report, which was prepared by Additional DG (Agra Zone) Anupam Kulshreshtha, and Aligarh commissioner Chaitra V, hints at the political links of goodman ‘Bhole Baba’.

The comprehensive and voluminous SIT report covers all aspects of the incident and provides suggestions and guidelines for organising similar events in the future in the state.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered the SIT probe immediately after the tragic incident.

Statements from 125 individuals have been recorded in the report. The SIT interviewed administrative officials, event organisers, and volunteers (sevadars) to determine the causes of the stampede.

Sources said that the report identifies some political leaders who had significant associations with ‘Bhole Baba’ during elections, along with other relevant connections.

The roles of local leaders, sevadars, organisers, and officials present at the event have also been questioned for failing to accurately estimate the congregation’s size.

The report highlights that the main accused, Dev Prakash Madhukar, was in contact with political parties for fundraising activities related to the event.

CM Adityanath has further ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident, headed by retired high court judge Brijesh Kumar Srivastava, with retired IAS officer Hemant Rao and retired IPS officer Bhavesh Kumar Singh as members.

The panel is expected to conclude its investigation and submit its findings within two months.

Earlier, the report from the local SDM indicated that permission was granted for only 80,000 attendees at the godman’s satsang, but over 2.5 lakh people attended the event. Allegedly, the entire event was managed by sevadars, with police personnel purportedly absent from the area.


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