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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Stampede at Religious Event in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras Claims 107 Lives

Image Source: hindustantimes.com

At least 107 individuals, predominantly women, perished in a sorrowful stampede during a religious gathering in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. The incident occurred within a specially set up tent in Rati Bhanpur village, a part of Sikandra Rau, where a religious leader was speaking to his congregation.

Initial reports from the police indicate that the cause of the stampede was due to overcrowding, which led to discomfort among the attendees of the ‘Satsang’, sparking panic and a rush to leave. The situation was made worse by the extreme heat and humidity.

In an interview, Inspector General (Aligarh Range) Shalabh Mathur stated, “It was a religious gathering led by Bhole Baba. A temporary permit was given for the event at the location, which is on the boundary of Etah and Hathras districts on Tuesday afternoon.”

Among those who have passed away are Ganga Devi (70) from Hathras, Priyanka (20) from Kasganj, Jasoda (70) from Mathura, and Saroj Lata (60) from Etah. It is particularly tragic that two children, Kavya (4) and Ayush (8) from Shahjahnpur, also lost their lives.

A survivor shared the harrowing scene that unfolded as the religious ceremony concluded and people hurried to exit. “A large group of followers had gathered. There was no escape route, and the crowd fell on each other, resulting in a stampede. As I attempted to leave, motorcycles parked outside obstructed my path. Many people fainted, and others succumbed to their injuries,” the survivor recounted, who is presently receiving medical care at a nearby hospital.

The cause of the stampede is currently being investigated.

In the wake of this tragedy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed deep sorrow and directed officials within the Hathras district to speed up rescue and relief efforts. “He has also directed a probe into the incident, with the ADG Agra and Commissioner Aligarh to lead the investigation,” the CM’s Office shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Efforts are being made to offer assistance to the victims and their families, with authorities striving to prevent such incidents in the future. The primary goal remains to understand the factors that led to the stampede and to implement measures to ensure such a catastrophic event does not happen again.

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