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Hathras Case: Six arrested, reward of Rs 1 lakh announced to nab the main organiser

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By Our Correspondent

Hathras/Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police sprang to action following Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath taking charge of the Hathras incident and arrested six individuals including, four men and two women associated with the Satsang organizing committee on Thursday.

A senior UP police officer identified the arrested individuals as Ram Ladaite Yadav from Mainpuri, Upendra Singh Yadav from Firozabad, Manju Yadav, Manju Devi Yadav, Megh Singh from Hathras, and Mukesh Kumar from Hathras. These individuals are sevadars responsible for donation collection.

Simultaneously, the police announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for the main organizer, Dev Prakash Madhukar. During interrogation, the arrested individuals admitted to having allowed the crowd to go unruly to seek blessings of Bhole Baba, which resulted in the tragic stampede, as well as having fled the scene when the situation worsened.

The incident, which occurred on Monday, claimed the lives of 121 devotees from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana, predominantly women.

IG Shalabh Mathur of the Aligarh division informed that the accused identified themselves as members of the organizing committee and served as sevadars. Their primary responsibilities include crowd management and fundraising for the Satsang Committee, he added.

Additionally, they oversee various logistical aspects such as barricading, setting up pandals for shade, organizing vehicle parking, ensuring smooth pathways at the venue, arranging generators for electricity, and maintaining cleanliness, he further pointed out.

According to him, these individuals are provided with different uniforms tailored to their roles in event organization. For crowd management and security purposes, men and women put on black commando attire and pink uniforms, respectively, ensuring uniformity and effective crowd control per their requirements.

During interrogation, it was revealed that Baba’s followers believe in the miraculous power of the dust from his feet. The arrested individuals disclosed that they typically managed Baba’s procession, clearing a path through crowds for him.

However, on the fateful day, when devotees approached Baba’s car to get the dust from his feet, the sevadars briefly tried to control the crowd. However, once the convoy moved ahead, they allowed the crowd to surge forward uncontrollably. This led to women and children falling over each other, causing chaos. Witnessing the situation escalating, the sevadars ran away.

Further investigation revealed that these individuals often obstructed police attempts to document the event through photos and videos, sometimes behaving rudely towards law enforcement. The police are also probing whether these sevadars were involved in a criminal conspiracy.

 

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