Hathras Stampede: Rahul Gandhi Meets Families of Victims, Seeks Quick & Substantial Compensation

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HATHRAS – Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has said that the stampede in Hathras that led to the death of 121 people was a result of the administration’s negligence and also demanded quick and substantial compensation for the affected families.

He said that he did not wish to politicise the tragedy but it was evident that there were lapses by the administration. “When permission was for 80,000 people, then how did so many people reach there? Action should be taken against whoever is guilty. The police deployment was inadequate,” he said.

Rahul who was in Aligarh and Hathras on Friday morning to meet the families of the victims, said that justice should be done and proper compensation be given. “They should be given the maximum possible compensation. I request the chief minister to show large-heartedness in giving compensation because the victims are from poor families,” he said.

He said that the Congress Party was with the families and would provide whatever help was possible. The stampede took place on Tuesday evening at a satsang of a self-styled godman Suraj Pal who also goes by the names of Narayan Sakar Hari and ‘Bhole Baba’.

An FIR has been registered in the incident naming organizers of the event but the accused have not yet been arrested. The police arrested six persons, known as sewadars, who were supporters of the preachers and were managing the event.

The police conducted a search operation at Ram Kutir Charitable Trust in Mainpuri on Thursday for the self-styled godman. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mainpuri Sunil Kumar said on Thursday that ‘Bhole Baba was not found inside his ashram.

Superintendent of Hathras City, Rahul Mithas also said that they did not find the preacher in the ashram. On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the site of the tragedy and ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

A three-member Judicial Inquiry Commission under the chairmanship of Justice (retd) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava has been constituted to ensure comprehensiveness of the subject matter and transparency in the inquiry. The Judicial Commission will investigate the stampede incident over the next two months and submit its report to the state government.

As per the prima facie report, the stampede took place when devotees rushed to seek blessings and collect soil from around the godman’s feet, but were stopped from doing so by his security personnel. They then started pushing one another due to which several people fell triggering chaos at the site. -IANS

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