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Bhole Baba Blames “Anti-Social Elements” for Hathras Stampede

Bhole Baba Blames “Anti-Social Elements” for Hathras Stampede

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NEW DELHI, July 2: Bhole Baba, the ‘godman’ whose ‘prayer meet’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on Tuesday ended in a stampede that killed 121 people, and who has been said to be “absconding” since, issued a statement on Wednesday evening declaring he would take legal action against “anti-social elements” that allegedly engineered the horrific chaos.

In his first statement on the tragic incident, the self-styled godman claimed that some “anti-social elements” had created the chaos. He also claimed that the incident happened “long time after” he had left the venue, apparently to refute the allegations of the authorities that his “sevadars” (personal security) were responsible for the development as they had tried to push aside his devotees who rushed to take his blessings.

Bhole Baba, whose real name is Suraj Pal Singh, also said he expressed “deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.”

The ‘godman’ has not, so far, been named in the one police case to have been filed at this time. His aide and the event organisers have been named and they are charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and wrongful restraint. State police chief Prashant Kumar was non-committal when asked if Bhole Baba will be arrested, saying, “Action will be taken based on facts.”

(Manas Dasgupta)


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