UP government suspends six officials after SIT report on Hathras stampede flags lapses

The SIT report recommended action against these officers saying they did not take the event seriously and also failed to inform higher officials.
Victims outside the Trauma Centre after a stampede broke out at a religious gathering, in Hathras district, Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
Victims outside the Trauma Centre after a stampede broke out at a religious gathering, in Hathras district, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Photo | PTI

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday suspended six officials, including a local sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), in connection with the July 2 stampede in Hathras during a satsang (prayer meeting), which claimed 121 lives.

The action came soon after the special investigation team (SIT) submitted its report to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, holding the event’s organisers and the local administration responsible for the mishap.

The suspended officials are Sikdanararau SDM, circle officer, SHO Sikandrarau, tehsildar, and police outpost in charge of Kachora and Pora.

The SIT report recommended action against these officers saying they did not take the event seriously and also failed to inform higher officials.

It said the SDM granted permission without inspecting the venue or seeking the advice of higher authorities.

As for the event’s organisers, the SIT report faulted them for understating the number of devotees who would be attending the event and also flouting conditions on which the approval was granted. It found that some members of the organising committee acted recklessly and misbehaved with local police. It also noted that the preacher, Bhole Baba, was allowed to meet the crowd without any security arrangement, which added to the chaos.

‘Conspiracy angle can’t be ruled out’

The SIT report said ‘a big conspiracy’ leading to the tragedy can’t be ruled out, adding only a thorough probe can bring out the truth. Earlier, Bhole Baba’s lawyer had claimed some people sprayed ‘poisonous substance’ into the crowd

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