Hathras stampede: 6 arrested, Rs 1 lakh reward offered for info on key accused

The UP Police made the first arrests on Thursday, just days after the Hathras stampede killed 121 people. Six people, all members of the organising committee of satsang, were arrested.
Hathras stampede: 6 arrested, Rs 1 lakh reward offered for info on key accused
Express photo by Abhinav Saha

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday said that six people have been arrested in connection with the stampede that occurred in Hathras following a satsang. They all are members of the organising committee involved in conducting the satsang, police said.

A total of 121 people, mostly women, died and 31 were injured in the stampede after the satsang conducted by preacher Narayan Sakaar Hari or 'Bhole Baba' in Hathras on Tuesday.

The police made the first arrests on Thursday, just days after the incident.

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Hathras stampede: 6 arrested, Rs 1 lakh reward offered for info on key accused

Aligarh Inspector General Shalabh Mathur said, "Six people, including four men and two women, have been arrested in the incident. They are all members of the organising committee and worked as 'Sevadars'."

'Mukhya sevadar' Dev Prakash Madhukar has been identified as the main accused in the FIR. The police announced a reward of Rs1 lakh for information leading to the arrest Madhukar.

The police are actively seeking a Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) from the court for Madhukar’s arrest.

If necessary, authorities may also question 'Bhole Baba', whose name does not appear in the FIR but is under investigation. The police are gathering information on Narayan Sakaar Hari's background, and teams have been dispatched to cities where he has potential criminal records.

As per the FIR filed by the police, more than 2.50 lakh people attended the religious congregation even though the administration had given permission for 80,000 people for the event.

The FIR further alleged that the satsang organisers tried to hide the actual number of people at the event by concealing evidence and throwing slippers and other belongings of the followers of the godman in nearby fields.

The stampede occurred after the followers rushed to get a glimpse of Bhole Baba, and were pushed against each other. Eyewitnesses recalled how people fell one after the one, with their bodies lying atop each other.

Source: India Today

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