Hathras stampede: Devastated kin say Rahul promised he'd push for higher ex gratia, other aid

The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha also assured that he would raise the stampede issue in Parliament in a bid to prevent such incidents in the future, they said.
Last Updated : 05 July 2024, 07:29 IST

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Hathras/Aligarh: The grieving families of the 'satsang' stampede victims who met Rahul Gandhi in Hathras and Aligarh on Friday said the Congress leader has assured them he will make efforts to get their compensation enhanced.

The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha also assured that he would raise the stampede issue in Parliament in a bid to prevent such incidents in the future, they said.

Gandhi met with some families first in Aligarh's Pilkhana village around 7.30 am and then in Hathras' Vibhav Nagar area around 9 am, hours after he began his pre-dawn journey from Delhi, accompanied by some party leaders, to console the families of those killed in the Tuesday incident.

His meetings with the families in the two neighbouring districts in western Uttar Pradesh took place amid deployment of large number of security personnel by the state police.

Hari Mohan, a resident of Nai ka Nagla locality in Hathras, lost his paternal aunt Omvati, 55, in the stampede.

"Rahul Gandhi interacted with us, extended his sympathies. He said he would make effort to get the compensation amount for victims enhanced," Mohan told PTI.

Mrityunjay Bharti, 22, lost her maternal grandmother Asha Devi, around 55, in the tragedy. Bharti, who lives in Aligarh, has come to Hathras to be with her relatives who live in the city's Navipur area.

"He (Gandhi) spoke to us and tried to understand our issues. He said he would raise the issue in Parliament so that such incidents do not happen in future," Bharti told PTI.

In Aligarh's Pilkhana village, Monu, a family member of the deceased, when asked about's Gandhi visit, said, "He also said that he will try his best to help (us), and will talk to the government as his party is not in power." Khusboo, who lost her mother, said she was assured of help during the interaction with the former Congress president.

Another woman, who lost her sister-in-law in the stampede, told reporters, "He (Rahul Gandhi) told us that the (Congress) party will help us, and assured us help. He also inquired from us how it (the incident) took place." According to police, of the 121 people who died due to the stampede on July 2, 17 were from Aligarh and 19 were from Hathras.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday formed a three-member judicial commission headed by a retired high court judge to probe the Hathras tragedy, looking also into the possibility that a conspiracy was behind the stampede.

The government has also announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kind of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

The police are investigating the matter and have so far arrested six volunteers who were members of the organising committee of the satsang of Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba on July 2 in Fulrai village of Hathras.

The godman is not named in the police FIR as accused but a senior officer told media on Thursday that he would be questioned if required for investigation.

Published 05 July 2024, 07:29 IST

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