Hathras Stampede Tragedy: Bhole Baba's Lawyer Blames Poisonous Gas For Deaths

Hathras Stampede Tragedy: Bhole Baba's Lawyer Blames Poisonous Gas For Deaths

The tragic stampede resulted in the deaths of 121 people, mostly women, after a satsang conducted by Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba. Nine individuals, including the prime accused Devprakash Madhukar, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Sunday, July 07, 2024, 07:29 PM IST
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'Bhole Baba' aka Suraj Pal is under scrutiny after the Hathras stampede tragedy | ANI

Hathras: In a dramatic development, AP Singh, the lawyer representing Saakar Hari Baba, alias Bhole Baba has claimed that the deaths in the recent Hathras stampede were caused by poisonous gas released from cans, not the stampede itself.

Singh, addressing the media on Sunday, alleged that the incident following the satsang was a conspiracy against Baba's growing popularity. "Witnesses have contacted me and reported seeing 15-16 people carrying poisonous gas cans, which they opened in the crowd, leading to the stampede," he said. "The post-mortem reports show that the victims died due to suffocation, not from any other cause."

Singh further suggested that vehicles were strategically placed to help those who released the gas escape the scene. "We have evidence of this and will present it," he asserted. Singh also mentioned that the witnesses, who have requested anonymity, will need protection, and he intends to demand security for them.

The tragic stampede resulted in the deaths of 121 people, mostly women, after a satsang conducted by Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba. Nine individuals, including the prime accused Devprakash Madhukar, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The Hathras police, on July 6, announced that they are also investigating suspected political funding linked to the event.

Officials identified Madhukar as the main organizer and fundraiser for the satsang. Notably, Saakar Hari Baba has not been named as an accused in the FIR lodged at the Sikandrarao police station.

The new claims by AP Singh add another layer of complexity to the investigation. If substantiated, they could significantly shift the focus of the inquiry and the perceived motives behind the tragic event. The call for witness protection underscores the sensitivity and potential risks involved in bringing these new allegations to light.

Judicial probe continues:

As the investigation continues, the judicial commission, headed by Retd Justice Brijesh Singh investigating the tragic stampede conducted an on-site inspection where officials showed them the ditch and drain where the majority of the deaths occurred.

Circle Officer Dr. Anand Yadav and Station House Officer Ashish Kumar Singh explained to the commission that water spraying had made the footpath below the road muddy. When the crowd attempted to escape towards an open field, the slippery conditions caused many devotees to fall into the drain.

Some individuals managed to get out of the drain but found themselves in a marshy field, where the mud made it difficult for women to walk, leading to more falls. Most of the fatalities occurred in this area. Women who fainted on the road were revived when water was poured on them from a fire brigade truck.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, police and Special Operation Group (SOG) teams have been rigorously searching for the event's organizers and volunteers. The police are also investigating the backgrounds of those whose names appeared on banners and hoardings at the event site. They expect to apprehend these individuals soon.

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