Hathras Stampede Probe Report: Overcrowding Stands The Primary Cause Of 121 Fatalities

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has determined that severe overcrowding led to the tragic stampede at a ‘satsang’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, resulting in 121 fatalities.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has determined that severe overcrowding led to the tragic stampede at a ‘satsang’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, resulting in 121 fatalities.

The report, presented to the Yogi Adityanath government, was compiled by Additional Director General of Police (Agra) Anupam Kulshreshtha and Aligarh Divisional Commissioner Chaitra V. It includes testimonies from 128 witnesses, including police officers present at the event led by Narayan Sakar Hari, known as ‘Bhole Baba.’

Details of the report, which has been submitted to the state Home Department, are still emerging. Preliminary findings suggest that the self-styled godman and his aides could have averted the disaster. Initial FIR findings indicate that the ‘satsang’ organizers had sought permission for a gathering of 80,000 people, but an estimated 2.5 lakh attendees arrived. Consequently, nine individuals, including the primary organizer Devprakash Madhukar, have been arrested.

Narayan Sakar Hari has not been named as an accused in the FIR and is currently at large. His lawyer, AP Singh, has stated that the preacher is willing to cooperate with the investigation, alleging a conspiracy involving unidentified individuals who purportedly sprayed poison at the event, inciting the stampede.

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Senior police officer Anupam Kulshreshtha told PTI last week that while the conspiracy angle has not been dismissed, the evidence so far points to the organizers’ negligence. According to reports, the stampede was triggered when the godman was leaving the venue and followers rushed to collect dust stirred up by his car’s tyres. The subdivisional magistrate’s report noted that the godman’s private security guards began pushing followers, causing some to fall and be trampled. In the ensuing chaos, many fled towards an open field, where several slipped and were subsequently trampled.

Chief Minister Adityanath has promised stringent action and has not dismissed the possibility of a conspiracy. He emphasized the need for a thorough investigation: “If this is not an accident, then whose conspiracy is this? All of these will be probed.” In addition to the SIT investigation, a judicial panel headed by a retired high court judge is also examining the incident.