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July 13, 2024 7:37 am

Hathras stampede: Plea in SC to probe incident by expert committee

The Fact News Service
New Delhi, July 3

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking direction to appoint a five-member expert committee under the supervision of a retired top Court judge to enquire into the Hathras stampede incident where more than 100 people were killed on July 2.

It further sought direction from the committee to suggest and frame guidelines and safety measures to avoid such incidents in a large number of public gatherings.

The plea filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari further sought direction to the State of Uttar Pradesh to submit a status report before the apex court in the Hathras stampede incident and initiate legal action against the persons, authorities and officials for their negligent conduct.

It further asked the top court to direct all the State governments to issue directions and guidelines to prevent stampede or other incidents for the public’s safety in organizing any religious events or other events where a large number of public gatherings.

More than 100 people, including women and children, were killed after a stampede broke out at a ‘Satsang’ organized by a self-styled godman, Bhole Baba aka Narayan Saakar Hari, in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.

As per reports, the event drew in a crowd of over two lakh devotees, while permission was only granted to have around 80,000 attendees.

In his plea, the advocate cited several such stampede-like events that have occurred in the past 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.

“Such incident prima facie depicts the serious condition of responsibility lapse, negligence and unfaithful duty of care towards the public by the government authorities. Over the past decade, various incidents have taken place in our country wherein due to mismanagement, a lapse in duty, and negligent maintenance activities, there have been cases of huge public casualties which could have been avoided yet due to such arbitrary and undone actions have led to such work,” the plea stated.

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