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  India   Crime  10 Jul 2024  UP Govt Suspends Officials, Points to Conspiracy in Hathras Stampede Incident

UP Govt Suspends Officials, Points to Conspiracy in Hathras Stampede Incident

THE ASIAN AGE WITH AGENCY INPUTS | BHASKAR HARI SHARMA
Published : Jul 10, 2024, 2:31 am IST
Updated : Jul 10, 2024, 2:31 am IST

The SIT held the organisers responsible for the stampede, claiming they did not make arrangements to manage the crowd

Prime accused of the Hathras stampede case, Devprakash Madhukar, being brought by police to a hospital for medical examination, in Hathras, Saturday, July 6, 2024. (PTI Photo)
 Prime accused of the Hathras stampede case, Devprakash Madhukar, being brought by police to a hospital for medical examination, in Hathras, Saturday, July 6, 2024. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday suspended the local SDM, a circle officer and four others on the basis of a special investigation team (SIT) report in connection with the Hathras stampede, which claimed the lives of 121 people on July 2. The SIT did not rule out a "big conspiracy" behind the incident.

The SIT, comprising additional director-general of police (Agra Zone) Anupam Kulshrestha and Aligarh divisional commissioner Chaitra V., held the organisers responsible for the stampede, claiming they did not make arrangements to manage the crowd.

The SIT, constituted by the UP government to probe the Hathras stampede, hinted at conspiracy and flagged lapses on the part of the local administration.

The UP government probe panel said the local police and administration did not take the event seriously and failed to provide proper information to senior officers. The panel said the local SDM, circle officer, tehsildar (revenue official), inspector and outpost in-charge were guilty of negligence in discharging their duties.

“The sub-district magistrate of Sikandrarau granted permission for the event without inspecting the venue and did not even inform the senior officials," the report said, adding the officials did not take the magnitude of the “satsang” seriously.

The SIT recommended action against the concerned officials, including the SHO Sikandrarau police station and the police outpost in-charges of Kachora and Pora.

“The SIT did not rule out any big conspiracy behind the incident and has stated the need for a thorough investigation. In the preliminary investigation, the SIT has held the event organisers to be primarily responsible for the stampede on the basis of eyewitnesses and other evidence,” officials said.

It stated that the organisers obtained permission for the event by hiding facts. The conditions applicable for permission were not followed and they did not make adequate and smooth arrangements by inviting an unexpected crowd. Nor were the conditions of permission given by the local administration for the programme followed," the SIT report said.

People associated with the organising committee have been found guilty of creating chaos, it said, adding that they engaged volunteers without proper police verification.

"The organising committee misbehaved with the police and even attempted to stop the local police from inspecting the event venue," it said.

The satsang karta or preacher (Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba) was allowed to meet the crowd without any security arrangements, it said, adding that no barricading or passage arrangements were made and when the accident occurred, the members of the organising committee fled from the spot.

The preliminary report was made after the statements of 125 people, including administrative and police officials, the general public and eyewitnesses, were recorded. Apart from this, copies of news published in connection with the incident, on-site videography, photographs and video clippings were taken into cognisance.

Tags: hathras stampede, cbi
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh