Hathras Stampede: The Death Count Rises to 121

Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras saw a tragic incident on Tuesday afternoon. 121 people were killed, and more than 80 injured in the stampede during a religious event. This horrific incident took place during the Satsang (prayer meeting) held by Suraj Pal. He is popularly known as “Bhole Baba”, aka Narayan Sakar Hari, to his followers.

People were desperate to take the dust from Narayan Sakar Vishwa Hari’s feet. They were waiting to have his darshan after the Satsang. There are over 100 women and many children who have been killed. This is undoubtedly the most tragic incident that has happened over the past years.

Who is Narayan Sakar Hari?

Bhole Baba or Suraj Pal Singh was born in Bahadur Nagari Village in Etah District of Uttar Pradesh. He was born to a farmer, Nanne Lal and Katori Devi. He completed his education and secured a job in the Intelligence Department. Suraj Pal joined UP police and worked as a head constable with the Intelligence Unit. He worked for nearly two decades before turning towards spirituality.

In 1990, he took a voluntary retirement from the service. He changed his name from Suraj Pal to Narayan Sakar Hari. He also established an ashram in Patiyali village and began holding Satsangs.

Suraj Pal is a self-styled godman who’s always spotted wearing a white suit with a tie. He also wears a white kurta pajama and is generally accompanied by his wife, Prem Bati.

Narayan Sakar Hari is popularly known for his controversial Satsangs. He has a large history of legal problems that include allegations of sexual assault. He has many cases filed against him in different jurisdictions, including Farrukhabad, Etah, Kasganj, Agra, and Rajasthan. However, he continues to demand a huge fan following.

How did Hathras Stampede happen?

The Hathras incident took place on Tuesday, 2nd of July, at a religious event in UP. The tragedy happened at a Satsang at Fulrai Mughalgarhi village close to the border between Etah and Hathras districts. Sikandara Rao police station SHO Ashish Kumar said, “The stampede occurred due to overcrowding.” 

The official said the place where it happened was too small to hold the crowd. After the event, when Bhole Baba was leaving, there was a huge rush among his followers. They were desperate to collect the dust from Baba’s car’s tire trail as a token of blessing. This initiated the stampede, and hundreds of innocents were killed.

Baba’s assistants, known as ‘Sevadars.’ stopped the crowd. However, the rushing devotees fell on each other. The people who were beneath died due to suffocation.

People from various districts of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states attended this event. A high-level committee has been issued to investigate the incident to the core. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “The panel will be headed by the Additional Director General of Police, Agra, and the Aligarh Commissioner.”

How Many People Have Died Till Now in the Hathras Incident?

So far, 121 people have died in this horrific event. Many people are injured and are in the hospital. Senior Superintendent of Police, Etah, Rajesh Kumar Singh, gave the following statement. “Twenty-seven bodies have arrived in Etah hospital. Among those killed are 23 women, 3 children, and a man.” 

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expresses condolences to the families of those killed in the incident. He also instructed the officials to reach the accident site. They are doing their best to provide help to everyone.

Case Against Hathras Event Organisers

A case has been filed against the organisers of this event. According to the FIR, permission was granted to only 80,000 people. However, more than 2.5 lakh devotees attended the Satsang.

The FIR said, “Due to the unmanageable crowd leaving the venue, devotees sitting on the ground were crushed. On the other side of the road, the crowd running in the water and mud-filled fields was forcibly stopped by the organizing members with sticks.”

It also added, “The police and administrative officials on the spot made every possible effort and sent the injured people to the hospital with the available resources. But the organizers didn’t cooperate.”

The organisers have been charged under the following sections:

  • 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
  • 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide).
  • 126 (2) (wrongful restraint).
  • 223 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant).
  • 238 (causing the disappearance of evidence) of the new criminal code Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS).

To Conclude

Self-styled godman Bhole Baba addressed a Satsang gathering in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. This resulted in a horrific incident that saw the death of 121 people. The devotees desperately rushed after the baba to collect the dust from his feet. This triggered the stampede that killed hundreds of devotees.

However, a case has been filed against the organizers. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also expressed condolences towards the affected families. He has also advised the officials to look into this matter.

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Divya Stuti

Divya Stuti is a UGC-awarded researcher, writer, poet, and Digital Marketer. She has published multiple poems and short stories- "Pain", and "No Guess" and also contributed to poetry compilations- “Scribbled Perception” and DAFFODILS. She can write technical as well as non-technical contents and optimize them with best SEO practices.