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Hathras Stampede Tragedy Reaches Supreme Court, Hearing On Friday

Hathras Stampede Tragedy Reaches Supreme Court, Hearing On Friday

Supreme Court will hear the petitions over the Hathras tragedy on Friday. (File)

New Delhi:

The Hathras incident that claimed the lives of 121 followers at a satsang, or religious gathering, of a self-styled godman last week, has reached the Supreme Court over a demand for a probe led by a retired top court judge.

Supreme Court lawyer Vishal Tiwari has filed a petition demanding that the stampede tragedy be probed by a five-member expert committee under the supervision of a retired top court judge.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has ordered the listing of the petition. The Supreme Court registry has scheduled the hearing on Friday.

The petitioner also demanded that the Uttar Pradesh government submit a status report on the incident and take legal action against those – including officials – found responsible. The petition urged the Supreme Court to frame the required guidelines.

A Special Investigative Team (SIT) probing the incident has blamed overcrowding as the main reason behind the stampede at the satsang of ‘Bhole Baba’, whose real name is Suraj Pal Singh.

The SIT, comprising Additional Director General of Police (Agra Zone) Anupam Kulshrestha and Aligarh Divisional Commissioner Chaitra V, submitted its report to the Yogi Adityanath government today.

While details are awaited, some reports claim that the SIT has said the self-styled godman and his aides could have prevented the tragedy.

According to the FIR registered in connection with the incident, the ‘satsang’ organisers had sought permission for a gathering of 80,000 people, but over 2.5 lakh followers turned up.

Reports suggest the stampede began when the ‘godman’ was leaving and his followers rushed to collect the dust stirred by his car’s tyres, thinking of it as his blessings. The godman’s private security guards started pushing his followers and in the chaos, people slipped and were trampled in the open field, according to the subdivisional magistrate’s report.

Cops have arrested nine people, including main organizer Devprakash Madhukar, so far while Bhole Baba has not been named as an accused yet.

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