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Hathras Stampede: Bhole Baba Worked for Intelligence Bureau

Hathras Stampede: Bhole Baba Worked for Intelligence Bureau

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NEW DELHI, July 2: Bhole Baba aka Narayan Saakar Hari, the self-styled ‘Guru’ who had organised the “satsang” at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh in which at least 116 people were killed in a stampede, has often claimed that he has worked with the Intelligence Bureau. He also told his devotees that he was inclined towards spirituality even when he was working and had resigned in the 1990s to pursue the spiritual path.

Narayan Hari was born in Bahadur Nagari village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district and completed his initial studies there. He claims that he began working for the Intelligence Bureau after college and turned towards spirituality during his time there.

One of the distinguishing features of Narayan Hari as a guru is that he does not wear saffron clothes, preferring a white suit and tie. His other preferred attire is a kurta-pyjama. During his sermons, he says that he does not keep any amount from the donations that are given to him and spends it all on his followers. Narayan Hari calls himself a devotee of Hari and has a sizeable following in western Uttar Pradesh.

In the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the middle of a fierce attack on the Congress and the opposition, broke off to inform the House of the Hathras tragedy.

Mr Modi, who was fighting a vociferous battle with the opposition while speaking on the Motion of Thanks to President Droupadi Murmu’s joint address to Parliament last week, paused and told his fellow MPs of the tragedy. As he did so, the Lok Sabha, which seconds earlier had reverberated with the shrieks and screams and chants of opposition MPs targeting the PM fell completely silent.

“In the midst of these discussions I have also been given sad news. It has come to my attention that there have been many tragic deaths in the stampede in Hathras…” the Prime Minister said. “I express my condolences to those who lost their lives (and) hope for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he added, as murmurs broke from MPs preparing to add the Hathras stampede to their arsenal of weapons against Mr Modi and his ruling BJP, which is also in power in Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Modi also said senior central government officers had been instructed to contact their state counterparts to coordinate rescue and aid efforts. “Through this forum, I assure everyone that all possible assistance will be provided to the victims,” he said. The PM’s office has announced ₹ 2 lakh compensation to each of the families of those killed and ₹ 50,000 to each of those injured.

The Hathras Lok Sabha MP – the BJP’s Anoop Pradhan – said he had spoken to district officers but declined to comment on the number of dead. The injured, he said, were being treated at hospitals. Before and after the Prime Minister’s mention of the Hathras stampede, the opposition threw a wall of noise – protests, slogans, and screams – at Mr Modi as he was speaking.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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