Hathras stampede: DSP, SDM among 6 officials suspended for negligence

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HATHRAS/LUCKNOW: UP govt has suspended six officials – including Sikandra Rau DSP (circle officer), SDM, tehsildar, and two sub-inspectors – for negligence and dereliction of duty in the aftermath of the stampede at a religious event led by Surajpal Singh, also known as Bhole Baba, in Hathras that resulted in 121 deaths on July 2.
The action was based on a report submitted by a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the incident.The report did not rule out the “possibility of a conspiracy” behind the incident.
Officials who faced action are DSP Anand Kumar, SDM Ravindra Kumar, Sikandra Rau SHO Ashish Kumar, tehsildar Sushil Kumar, Kachora police outpost in-charge (SI) Manveer Singh, and Pora outpost in-charge (SI) Brijesh Pandey. The SIT held the event organisers responsible and criticised police & administration for failing to manage the event.
SIT: Organisers didn’t follow conditions set by Hathras admin
The 300-page report of the SIT, led by additional DGP Anupam Kulshreshtha and divisional commissioner Chaitra V, prepared after recording statements from 125 individuals – including police and administrative officials, eyewitnesses, and the public – and reviewing news articles, videos and photographs related to the incident revealed severe lapses on part of both the organisers and the local administration. Statements from Sikandra Rau SDM and CO, Hathras DM Ashish Kumar, and SP Nipun Agarwal were included in the report.
“SDM of Sikandra Rau granted permission for the event without inspecting the venue and did not inform senior officials. Other officials recommended permission without verifying arrangements at the venue. The said officials did not take the programme seriously,” it said.
The report accused the organisers of failing to follow the conditions set by the administration and failing to make arrangements despite expecting a large crowd. It added, “Organisers obtained permission for the event by concealing facts & did not comply with the conditions set by the administration. Individuals whose proper police verification wasn’t done contributed to the disorder.”
A senior officer said, “The committee misbehaved with police and tried to block them from inspecting the venue. The ‘satsang’ performers mingled with the crowd without any security measures in place. Despite the large turnout, no barricades or passageways were arranged. When the stampede occurred, the organisers fled.”
CM Yogi Adityanath had earlier called for a thorough probe. He also ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Until Tuesday, 11 volunteers, including key accused Devprakash Madhukar, main organiser & fundraiser of the satsang, have been arrested.

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