Hathras stampede: 6 arrested, non-bailable warrant to be issued against chief sevadar

The only accused named in the FIR is at large while preacher Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba will be questioned if required during investigation, a senior officer said.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 10:15 IST

Follow Us :


Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday arrested six persons, who were among the organizers of the ‘satsang’ (religious gathering) at Phulrai village in Hathras district where 121 people were killed in a stampede on Tuesday.

Aligarh IG of police Shalabh Mathur said that a cash reward of Rs one lakh had been announced for the arrest of chief ‘sevadar’ Dev Prakash Madhukar, who had been ‘missing’ since the tragedy. ‘’A non-bailable warrant (NBW) will soon be issued against him,’’ he added.

Mathur said that the police were trying to identify the other accused persons and special teams had been formed to trace and arrest them.

When queried about the absence of the ‘Kathavachak’ Bhole Baba’s name in the FIR, the official said that the police would ‘question’ the Baba if his name cropped up during the investigation.

‘’There is no question of sparing any one ... .the investigation is going on…we will question everyone whose name crops up during the investigation,’’ Mathura said, adding that the police were collecting information about the criminal antecedents of the Baba.

He said that all the bodies had been identified and the process of autopsy was over. The official said that the dead included 112 women and seven children.

The state government has constituted a committee to investigate the incident. The Committee which would be headed by Justice (retd) Brijesh Kumar, has IAS (retd) Hemant Rao and IPS (retd) Bhavesh Mukar Singh as its members.

According to the sources, those arrested in connection with the incident told the police that the stampede happened after the ‘sevadars’ stopped the devotees from touching the feet of the Baba and blocked the exit to allow the Baba to leave the venue.

As Suraj Pal alias Sakar Hari Bhole remained untraceable even 48-hours after the tragedy, the opposition parties continued to attack the state government over the incident and accused it of trying to ‘shield’ the Baba.

‘’The incident in Hathras reflects failure of the state government ... .there were not enough ambulances to carry the injured to the hospitals nor were there adequate number of doctors to treat them,’’ UP Congress president Ajay Rai said.

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav also said that there was no conspiracy behind the Hathras incident. ‘’The state government can not escape its responsibility….the guilty must be punished,’’ he added.

He also slammed the BJP for making his photographs with Bhole Baba viral on social media. ‘’This is their (BJP) old habit….this is why they lost in UP in the recent Lok Sabha polls,’’ he remarked.

Published 04 July 2024, 10:15 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us