Adityanath vows action on Hathras tragedy, doesn't rule out conspiracy

Justice Brijesh Kumar Srivastava will lead the 3-member judicial panel formed by the government to probe the stampede.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets a woman injured in the Hathras stampede, in Hathras, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets a woman injured in the Hathras stampede, in Hathras, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.(Photo| PTI)

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has reiterated his determination to take strict action against those responsible for the tragic stampede in Hathras, which resulted in 121 deaths and 28 injuries. Adityanath on Wednesday, announced a judicial probe, led by a retired judge of Allahabad High Court.

Justice Brijesh Kumar Srivastava will lead the 3-member judicial panel formed by the government to probe the stampede. Retired IAS officer Hemant Rao and IPS Bhavesh Kumar Singh are the other members of the panel.

The panel will complete its probe and submit its report within two months. It will probe whether the organisers adhered to the terms and conditions put forth by the administration for granting permission for the congregation.

It will also find out if the incident was an accident or the result of any conspiracy or criminal act. It has also been asked to ascertain whether the administration had made adequate arrangements to control the crowd and maintain law and order.

Interacting with media persons in Hathras after meeting the injured in various hospitals and visiting the place of the incident, CM Yogi said that the judicial commission would dive deep into the reasons which led to the tragedy and also ascertain if it was only an accident or conspiracy.

"Considering all these factors, those found guilty will face consequences,” he said adding: “The judicial commission will also suggest the standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed during such events so as to avert the recurrence of such tragedies,” said the CM at the media conference.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets a woman injured in the Hathras stampede, in Hathras, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
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Referring to the initial report fetched by the Special Investigative Team comprising ADG, Agra zone and Aligarh Commissioner, the CM said that the ‘sewadars’ of the preacher Baba were managing the event inside the pandal were not letting the district administrative official in. “However, the administration had provided police arrangements outside the pandal. Immediately after the event, as the stampede occurred, the sevadars of the Baba fled the spot without even making any effort to arrange transport for the injured to hospital,” Yogi pointed out.

Laying stress on the need to probe all the angles of the incident, the CM said it was significant to rule out the role of all such elements who could have laid a conspiracy to defame the state through such a tragedy.

He also asked the opposition to keep away from politics on such a tragedy. However, without naming anyone, the CM said that the pictures of the preachers doing rounds on social media were an indication enough of the connections he enjoyed with a senior politician of the state. Notably, videos and pictures of Bhole Baba with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav are viral on social media.

Responding to a query over the name of the preacher missing in the FIR lodged against the sevadar and the organisers, the CM said that the initial FIR was against those who sought permission for the event. “As the investigation will go on, the ambit of FIR will also expand to include all those responsible and accountable for the tragedy,” said Yogi.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets a woman injured in the Hathras stampede, in Hathras, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
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CM Yogi stated that the organisers would be interrogated and the accountability for any negligence would be established. “We cannot dismiss this incident simply as an accident. If it is indeed an accident, we must identify those responsible. If it is not an accident, we need to uncover any conspiracies involved."

He added that the event had the devotees from 16 UP districts, including Hathras, Badaun, Kasganj, Aligarh, Etah, Lalitpur, Agra, Firozabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mathura, Auraiya, Bulandshahr, Pilibhit, Sambhal, and Lakhimpur Kheri. Six devotees had thronged the venue from other states including one from Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), four from Haryana, and one from Rajasthan.

“As many as 31 injured individuals are receiving treatment in hospitals in Hathras, Aligarh, Etah, and Agra, and all are reportedly out of danger," he said.

Explaining the series of events as told to him by the injured victims in hospitals, CM yogi said the accident occurred when the preacher’s convoy reached GT Road after the programme. “Initially, a group of women approached him to touch his feet and they were followed by a massive crowd leading to the stampede. The Sevadars (volunteers) also pushed the people leading them to fall in the furrow on both sides of GT Road."

The CM added that the most unfortunate aspect was that negligence and indifference of the sevadars, who, usually prevent the administration from entering such programmes, tried to suppress the incident and when the administration began ferrying injured to hospital, they fled the scene instead of assisting the administration.

While emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation into the matter to ensure accountability for the loss of so many lives, the CM said that the state government would take responsibility of the education and other needs of the children affected by the accident under Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Bal Seva Yojana.

Furthermore, he mentioned that the Central and State governments would providing Rs 4 lakh as financial assistance to the families of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh to the injured.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets a woman injured in the Hathras stampede, in Hathras, Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
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