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Pushing by security, slippery slope led to stampede, says report

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Lucknow, July 3: Chaos caused after Narayan Sakaar Hari’s followers, who tried to reach near his vehicle to seek “darshan”, were pushed by the godman’s security and a “slippery slope” resulted in the stampede that killed 121 people in Hathras, a preliminary report of the SDM said.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sikandra Rao submitted the preliminary report on the stampede to the district magistrate (DM).
The SDM, who gave permission for the ‘satsang’ (religious congregation), was also present at the venue when the incident occurred, according to the report.
“A crowd of more than 2 lakh people was present in the satsang pandal. Shri Narayan Sakar Hari (Bhole Baba) reached the satsang pandal at about 12.30 pm and the program went on for 1 hour.
“After this, at about 1.40 pm, Shri Narayan Sakaar Hari (Bhole Baba) came out of the pandal to go towards Etah on National Highway-91,” the preliminary report said, adding that when the godman was leaving the venue, his followers started running towards him for a ‘darshan’ and collect soil from around his feet.
“Satsangi women/men/children etc. started applying the dust of Baba’s feet on their foreheads (while trying) to get his darshan, touch his feet and take his blessings,” reads the report dated July 2.
The situation worsened when more people waiting on the divider of the road ahead began running towards his vehicle, it said.
“A large number of people were already standing on the dividers in the middle and on the sides of GT road, who started jumping from the dividers and started running towards Baba’s vehicle to get his darshan.
“Then Baba’s personal security personnel (Black Commandos) and sevadars started pushing and shoving the crowd themselves to stop the crowd, due to which some people fell down,” the report states, adding this led to a panic and the crowd went out of control.
“Due to which the crowd ran towards the open field in front of the venue to get relief, on the other side of the road, where most of the people slipped and fell due to the wet slope while descending from the road towards the field,” the report said.
Those who fell could not get up again and were run over by those coming from behind, it said.
“After this, they could not get up again and the crowd started running here and there over them,” the report mentioned.
‘Mukhya sevadar’ Devprakash Madhukar and other organisers have been named in the first information report (FIR) filed at the Sikandar Rau police station late on Tuesday, a senior officer told PTI. (PTI)

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