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Hathras stampede: Yogi govt suspends six officials on SIT recommendations

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Lucknow, July 9: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has ordered the suspension of six officials, including the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Circle Officer (CO) and Tehsildar, in the Hathras stampede incident in which 121 persons were killed.

The action comes on the recommendations of the SIT report submitted earlier to the state government. The government has suspended the SDM of Sikandrarao, Circle Officer of Sikandrarao, Station Officer of Sikandrarao, Tehsildar of Sikandrarao, Chowki Incharge of Kachora and Chowki Incharge of Pora.

The SIT comprising ADG Zone Agra and the Divisional Commissioner of Aligarh, established immediately after the accident during the Satsang on July 2 in Sikandrarao of Hathras district, inspected the incident site on July 2, 3 and 5. During the investigation, statements were collected from a total of 125 individuals, including administrative and police officials, the general public, and eyewitnesses. Additionally, copies of news articles related to the incident, on-site videography, photographs, and video clippings were reviewed.

In the preliminary investigation, the SIT held the event organisers primarily responsible for the accident based on eyewitness accounts and other evidence. Based on the investigation and actions taken so far, the investigation committee has not ruled out the possibility of a major conspiracy behind the accident and has emphasised the need for a thorough investigation.

The investigation committee has also found the programme organiser and tehsil-level police and administration guilty. The local SDM, CO, Tehsildar, Inspector and Chowki Incharge have been held responsible for negligence in performing their duties. The SDM of Sikandrarao granted permission for the event without inspecting the venue and did not inform senior officials.

The said officials did not take the programme seriously, and senior officials were also not informed. The SIT has recommended action against these officials. The organisers obtained permission for the event by concealing facts. The conditions applicable for the permission were not followed.

They did not make adequate and smooth arrangements despite inviting an unexpected crowd, nor did they comply with the conditions set by the local administration for the programme. People associated with the organising committee have been found guilty of spreading chaos. Individuals added by the committee without proper police verification contributed to the disorder.

The organising committee misbehaved with the police and attempted to prevent the local police from inspecting the programme venue. The Satsang performers and the crowd were allowed to mingle without any security arrangements. Despite the large crowd, no barricading or passage arrangements were made, and when the accident occurred, members of the organising committee fled from the scene.

IANS

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