116 people, mostly women, tragically lost their lives in a stampede during a religious event in Hathras.

The stampede occurred as attendees were leaving a ‘satsang’ conducted by the preacher Bhole Baba in Phulrai village, Hathras district.

A tragic stampede at a religious gathering claimed the lives of 116 people on Tuesday. The incident occurred as devotees were leaving a ‘satsang’ conducted by the preacher Bhole Baba in Phulrai village, Hathras district.

Twenty-seven bodies were transported to a hospital in the neighboring Etah district. Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Singh reported that among them, 23 were women. Additionally, 89 bodies were found in Hathras.

Inspector General of Police Shalabh Mathur from the Aligarh Range confirmed the death toll at 116. Victims, both deceased and unconscious, were transported to the Sikandara Rao Trauma Centre in trucks and ‘tempos’. Outside the health centre, bodies were scattered while people gathered around them.

One video clip depicted a woman crying amidst five or six bodies inside a truck, while another showed a man and a woman lifeless in a different vehicle.

Earlier footage from before the stampede showed a large gathering under a ‘shamiana’ listening to Bhole Baba, who was seated before them on a throne-like chair.District Magistrate Ashish Kumar stated that the satsang was a private event approved by the sub-divisional magistrate. He mentioned that the local administration ensured security outside the venue, while the event’s organizers handled arrangements inside.

Eyewitness Shakuntala Devi, speaking to PTI Videos, described how the stampede occurred as people were leaving the venue after the day-long ‘satsang’. She recounted people falling on top of each other, leading to fatalities.

According to Sikandra Rao sub-divisional magistrate Ravendra Kumar, the stampede ensued as devotees tried to approach Bhole Baba as the event concluded. They sought to touch his feet and collect soil from around him, he informed PTI.

Participant Sonu Kumar attributed the stampede to slippery ground conditions. “When Guru ji departed after nearly one and a half hours, suddenly devotees rushed to touch his feet,” he explained. “As they turned back, some slipped.”

Sikandra Rao police station SHO Ashish Kumar attributed the tragedy to “overcrowding” at the ‘satsang’.

Another eyewitness, who left before the conclusion of the ‘satsang’, remarked that the arrangements were inadequate considering the number of devotees present.

The state government announced that a team, including Agra’s additional director general of police and Aligarh divisional commissioner, would investigate the incident. They have been instructed to submit their report within 24 hours.

During his response to a two-day debate in Parliament on the motion of thanks on the President’s address to both Houses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences for the deaths.

“In the midst of our deliberations, I have received distressing news. I have learned about the tragic loss of lives in the stampede in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh,” stated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister mentioned that senior officials from the central government are in continuous communication with the Uttar Pradesh administration to coordinate relief efforts.

President Droupadi Murmu expressed her heartfelt sorrow on social media, while Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge conveyed his sadness.

According to a statement from the state government, an FIR will be filed against the organizers of the event.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund will be provided to the families of each person who lost their lives in the stampede. Additionally, Rs 50,000 will be given to each injured person.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also addressed the incident, stating that state ministers Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary and Sandeep Singh were en route to Hathras. He directed the chief secretary and the state police chief to immediately reach the site.

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and Chief Minister M K Stalin expressed deep sorrow over the Hathras stampede, which resulted in over 100 deaths in Uttar Pradesh. CM Stalin conveyed solidarity with those affected.

On the official ‘X’ handle of Raj Bhavan, Governor Ravi expressed his heartfelt anguish, stating, “I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives in the unfortunate stampede at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.”

“My deepest condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. I pray for the swift recovery of those injured,” said the Chief Minister, expressing his profound sadness over the loss of lives.

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We stand in solidarity with all those affected during this difficult time,” he added.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha also conveyed his condolences for the 116 lives lost in the tragic stampede in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

“Deeply saddened by the tragic stampede in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, where over 100 people lost their lives and several others were injured. My heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones. Praying for the swift recovery of the injured,” wrote Raghav Chadha in a post on X.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the tragic stampede in Hathras, stating that he was deeply saddened by the incident.

“In deep sorrow over the tragic stampede in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, claiming numerous lives. This incident during a crowded religious gathering underscores the urgent need for ensuring safety at public events. Our sincere condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims,” Vijayan expressed in a post on X.

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