Hathras stampede: SIT blames organisers for incident, 6 suspended

Lucknow, July 9 (UNI) The Special Investigative Team (SIT) constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government to probe the Hathras stampede case, in which 121 people were killed, has primarily held satsang organisers and local administration responsible for the incident, official sources said here on Tuesday.

Sources said that in its report submitted to the state government, the SIT, comprising ADG Agra Zone and Divisional Commissioner Aligarh, has not ruled out the conspiracy behind the incident and has recommended an in-depth investigation.

Sources said that on the basis of the report submitted by the SIT, the government has suspended the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Sikandra Pao, the Circle Officer of Sikandra Rao, the Station Officer of Sikandra Rao, the Tehsildar of Sikandra Rao, the outpost in charge of Kachora, and the outpost in charge of Pora.

The SIT, constituted immediately after the accident during the Satsang on July 2 in Sikandra Rao in 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 has 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 SIT has also found the programme organiser and the tehsil-level police and administration guilty. The local SDM, CO, Tehsildar, Inspector, and outpost incharges have been held responsible for negligence in performing their duties.

The programme was not taken seriously by these officials, and senior officials were not even informed. The SIT has recommended action against the concerned officials.

The SDM of Sikandra Rao granted permission for the event without inspecting the venue and did not inform the senior officials. The SIT has recommended action against these officials.

Consequently, the government has suspended the SDM, CO, SO, Tehsildar, outpost in charge of Kachora, and outpost in charge of Pora.

The organisers obtained permission for the event by concealing facts. The conditions applicable to 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.

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