Hathras stampede: Why is ‘Bhole Baba’ not named in FIR? UP Police says… | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Hathras stampede: Why is ‘Bhole Baba’ not named in FIR? UP Police says…

Jul 04, 2024 08:48 PM IST

About 121 people died in the stampede during a Satsang held by Bhole Baba in Hathras on July 2.

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday responded to questions about why self-styled preacher Surajpal, also known as ‘Narayan Sakar Hari’ and ‘Bhole Baba’ has not been named in the First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the satsang stampede that claimed 121 lives on July 2.

Police personnel stand guard at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust, the ashram of preacher Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, at Bichhwa, in Mainpuri district, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.(PTI)
Police personnel stand guard at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust, the ashram of preacher Baba Narayan Hari, also known as Saakar Vishwa Hari Bhole Baba, at Bichhwa, in Mainpuri district, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.(PTI)

Addressing a press conference, inspector general of police, Aligarh range, Shalabh Mathur said that the investigation is on and whosoever is found involved during the course of investigation shall be interrogated and action will be taken accordingly.

“But for now Bhole Baba has not been named in the FIR because permission for the satsang at Hathras was not sought in his name but in the name of absconding main accused Dev Prakash Madhukar. He is named in FIR but is absconding,” Mathur said.

Also Read | Hathras stampede: CCTV footage shows Bhole Baba's convoy leaving village after incident

Responding to more questions about ‘Bhole Baba’, the officer added that the police were tracing the past record of the godman and found that he had taken VRS while he was posted as constable in Agra in the 1990s.

“Police records reveal that a case was registered against the Baba at Shahganj police station of Agra. He was later acquitted. We are actively (looking for) any other FIR registered against Bhole Baba in (any) other part of the country, “ he said.

Mathur also said that six members of the organising committee of the event, including two women sevadars (volunteers), have been arrested so far.

Also Read | How Hathras locals came together in the face of tragedy

A search is on for the main accused, Dev Prakash Madhukar, who has also been named in the FIR. A reward of 1 lakh has been declared on him. Madhukar is said to be a key aide of the self-styled preacher ‘Bhole Baba’.

Who is ‘Bhole Baba’?

 

After quitting the UP police’s local intelligence unit, Suraj Pal, who hails from a village in Kasganj district of Aligarh division, started giving sermons and organising ‘satsang’ for them. The popularity of ‘Bhole Baba’, who loves to be addressed as ‘Narain Sakaar Hari’, grew with time and he attracted thousands of followers.

‘Bhole Baba’, who is more popular as ‘Sakar Vishwa Hari Baba’, is only seen in public in white clothes and is often accompanied by his wife at sermons.

Believed not to be a follower of any ‘guru’, the godman claims to have been preached directly from the Almighty. Various MPs and MLA are believed to have attended his ‘satsang’, which is mostly organised on Tuesdays.

Despite his popularity, themedia is kept away from ‘Bhole Baba’'s ‘satsang’ and no personal details about the self-styled godman are publicised.

Hathras stampede

 

The stampede took place on Tuesday when thousands of people gathered at a specially laid tent in the Rati Bhanpur village in the Sikandra Rau area of Hathras district for a ‘Satsang’ organised by the preacher.

The stampede started soon after the women rushed out of the venue after the religious congregation ended.

Gopal Kumar, an eyewitness, told Hindustan Times that the gathering ended around 2pm. “He [the Baba] entered and exited the site from a designated route, bypassing the gathering of women, men, and children. There were vehicles all around and a portion of the highway was almost jammed with devotees and vehicles,” said Kumar.

He said as the Baba’s vehicle reached the highway, hundreds of devotees rushed towards his car for charan dhul (dust of his feet) and to get his blessings.

“A huge crowd rushed towards the highway and many of them could not climb up and slipped… as devotees fell, others rushing towards the highway did not bother and crushed them under their feet while trying to follow the Baba’s car. This led to the stampede and those who fell could not get up… they died and many of these were women.”

 

 

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