PIL in SC seeks probe into stampede

New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) The issue of stampede in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, which claimed 121 lives, reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday with a petitioner seeking a court-monitored probe to fix responsibility for negligence behind the incident.

Petitioner advocate Vishal Tiwari also urged the court to constitute a five-member expert committee under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court judge to suggest guidelines to avoid such incidents in future.

In his public interest litigation (PIL) petition, Tiwari said, “Apart from the failure of maintaining and administering the supervision, the authorities also failed to control the crowd gathered for the event.”

The Hathras stampede took place at a satsang organised by godman, Narayan Saakar Hari alias Bhole Baba, who was earlier known as Suraj Pal.

As per reports, the event drew in a crowd of over two lakh devotees, although permission was granted for a gathering of 80,000.

A criminal case has been registered in the matter by the Uttar Pradesh police against the organisers of the event.

Bhole Baba, who is reportedly not named in the first information report (FIR), is absconding.

Tiwari, in his plea, also mentioned several previous stampede-like events including the Kumbh Mela Stampede in 1954 where around 800 persons were reported dead, the Mecca Masjid Stampede of 2007 where 16 were reported dead, the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine deaths in 2022, the deaths during Dussehra celebrations at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna in 2014 and the death of around 104 Sabarimala devotees at Pulmedu in Idukki.

A similar petition has also been filed before the Allahabad High Court by a lawyer seeking a CBI probe into the Hathras stampede, the petitioner said.

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