Hathras’s Horror Story-Unfortunate

Omkar Dattatray

A shocking and hair-raising tragedy happened in a religious congregation in Phulrai village in Hathras UP. It has sent shock waves not only in UP but across the country .A pall of gloom and grief descended whole Hathras. The tragedy occurred because of the stamped after a religious preacher Bhole Baba’s Parwachan ended and the religious preacher left the venue .Due to superstition and blind faith, the people tried to have a glimpse of the Baba and to touch his feet and also to take the dust from the tyres of the vehicle in which the preacher was leaving. This resulted in stampede in which hundreds of the people including men ,women and children were crushed and fell upon one another and this worst ever tragedy took the precious life of more than 124 innocent people mostly women among the large number of people gathered to hear the religious sermon of the Bole Baba. The self-styled god man’s original name is Suraj Pal but he reportedly re-christened himself Narayan Sarkar Vishwa Hari & his devotees call him Bhole Baba .The organizers of the programme had taken permission from the concerned SDM for the participation of 80 thousand people .The Katha was conducted in the open field adjacent to the Highway .The venue was jam-packed with more than 2.50 lakh people against the permission of only eighty thousand people .A large number of people were standing on the highway and it led to traffic blockade .One wonders why the permission was granted for the assemblage of 80 thousand people? And when the permission was given ,the local authorities should have provided the necessary security ,medical and other services needed for such a large congregation .But it was not done .The Sub -Divisional Administration has not done the inspection of the place where the tragedy happened due to stampede .The organizers of the religious congregation and the Bola Baba should be held responsible for the loss of such a big number of people .One fails to understand as who has given the religious preachers the right to collect such a large number of people who are unmanageable and thus results in tragedy and which in the present case has taken the life of more than 124 innocent people All those who are responsible for the loss of more than 100 innocent lives should be taken to task .It is learnt that the FIR has been filed against some organizers but there is no mention of the name of Bola Baba because of whom all this loss of lives took place .SP chief Akliesh Yadav has rightly alleged that this big tragedy took place because of the carelessness of the administration .Politics aside ,all those officers should be held responsible for the loss of lives of such a large number and case of negligence and carelessness should be lodged against all of them .At the same time Bola Baba and all the organizers should be held accountable for the loss of lives.FIR should be lodged against not only the organizers of the Satsangh but the name of the religious preacher should also figure in the FIR .State government has constituted a committee to probe the incident and report in 24 hours and it is good and the committee should probe all the angles and fix the responsibility for the tragedy which led to loss of innocent lives .Chalan should be filed in the court of law against the organizers ,religious preacher and all the officials and officers because of whose carelessness such a big loss of lives had taken place .There is need for speedy trail and punishment should be awarded very soon so that all those responsible for the loss of lives are punished as per the law of the land so that such incidents will not take place in future .The religious preachers doing Satsangh are playing with the lives of the people and they should understand that they have no license to assemble large number of people who are unmanageable and sometimes results in loss of lives as is the present case in which a large number of people were killed and a large number of people were injured .The Bola Baba fled the scene leaving the people in pole of blood and it points towards the insensitivity of these religious preachers who have become the brokers of religion.
Humidity ,heat wave also played its part in compounding the tragedy and the suffocated bodies of the devotees piled atop each other in the worst ever tragedy in the recent years .It is also learnt that the preacher in this case was working in police and had since left the police service for a smarter avocation of performing Satsangh which is understood a better avocation and fetches huge money .These religious Gurus charge very hefty amounts for a sitting of Satsangh and it goes to lakhs of rupees .Sikandra Rao Police station SHO Ashish Kumar blamed overcrowding at the Satsang as the cause behind the sad happening who took the life of a large number of people besides injuring many .An eye witness said that the arrangements were not adequate given the number of devotees .
It has come to fore that after the incident there was lack of response from the civil administration and police and the number of ambulances was also very less and it compounded the situation aftermath of the tragedy .This tragedy spoiled the families of large number of people, some turned orphaned ,some became widows ,some widower as the number of women killed in the tragedy is large as compared to men .
The bread winners of some families also died and this led to big economic blow to such families .The general people should understand the gravity and not assemble in such large numbers to attend the Satsangs as these may prove dangerous and disastrous as happened in the present case .People and devotes should not have blind faith on the religious preachers and they should not be superstitious .In Sanatan Dharma ,there is no place for blind faith and superstitions and our faith is based on reason and pragmatism and so the true followers of Hinduism should not believe in blind faith and superstition. The Hathras tragedy is squarely attributed to blind faith in Guru and superstition.
Had the people not rushed towards the vehicle in which Bola Baba was seated for having a glimpse of the guru and for touching his feet and bowing to take the dust from the tires of the vehicle, such a tragedy may not have happened.
The organizers should also have warned on the public address system not to rush towards the Bola Baba when he left the venue, such a stampede would not have taken place and the innocent and precious lives have been saved. In short the tragedy should be probed and all those found responsible for the happening of the tragedy should be taken to task howsoever they may be and the Bola Baba should also be prosecuted for assembling such a large gathering and the resultant stampede which led to the killing of more than 124 people and injury to a very large people. Court has sentenced Asaram Bapu to Jail for such a long time & he is languishing in prison and leniency should be given to him for his old age and he may be set free.
Then what prevents the government of the day to prosecute Bola Baba for such a huge loss of lives. Let the sanity prevail upon the people so that they will not assemble in such a large numbers in which there are chances of tragedies and loss of lives.
(The author is a columnist, social and KP activist)

Editorial editorial article