Hathras Stampede: UP Police Conducts Search At Bhole Baba’s Ashram

Uttar Pradesh Police conducted a search at the Ram Kutir Charitable Trust in Mainpuri on Thursday for ‘Bhole Baba’, a self-styled godman, following a stampede at his satsang in Hathras that resulted in 123 deaths.

An FIR has been filed regarding the incident, naming the organizers of the prayer meeting, though ‘Bhole Baba’ has not yet been named.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mainpuri, Sunil Kumar, stated, “Baba has not been found inside the ashram. There are 40-50 sevadars inside the ashram. He (‘Bhole Baba’) is not inside, neither he was yesterday nor he is today.”

SP City Rahul Mithas added, “I had come to check the security of the ashram. Nobody was found here.”

Early this morning, police forces were deployed around the ashram. On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the site and ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

A 3-member Judicial Inquiry Commission, chaired by Justice (retd) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava, has been formed to ensure a comprehensive and transparent investigation, as stated in an official release. The Commission will examine various aspects of the Hathras stampede over the next 2 months and submit a report to the State Government.

The preacher ‘Bhole Baba’, identified as Suraj Pal, is also known by the names Narayan Sakar Hari and Jagat Guru Vishwahari.

According to an initial report, devotees rushed to seek blessings and collect soil from around the preacher’s feet but were stopped by his security personnel. This led to pushing and shoving, causing several people to fall and creating chaos. Some individuals ran into a nearby mud-filled field, where they fell and were trampled by other devotees.

“The injured were taken to the hospital by the police and security personnel present at the site,” the report added.

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About the Author: Meera Verma