Hathras, July 4: Hathras District Magistrate Ashish Kumar has said that the bodies of all victims of the Hathras stampede have been identified and handed over to their families. A total of 121 people, mostly women, died after the stampede at self-styled godman Baba Bhole's 'satsang' (religious congregation) in Hathras on Tuesday.

The district magistrate said on Thursday, "There were three bodies which were unidentified till Wednesday. Two of them were identified late Wednesday night." Meanwhile, one body has been identified by the family over a video call in Aligarh hospital and they are on their way to the facility, he added. Hathras Stampede: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath Arrives in Hathras To Meet Those Injured in Satsang Stampede Incident (Watch Video).

Hathras DM Ashish Kumar Speaks on Stampede

According to officials, the crowd at the congregation exceeded 2.5 lakh, while the permitted limit was 80,000 people. Meanwhile, the self-styled godman Bhole Baba .a.k.a. Suraj Pal aka Narayan Sakar Vishwa Hari remains elusive to the police who have been raiding his ashrams at several locations in Madhya Pradesh too. His manager Dev Prakash Mathur also remains untraceable.

Meanwhile, a retired police officer, Tejveer Singh, who was then the Station House Officer of Shahganj, Agra, recalled the arrest of the preacher in March 2000. Who Is Bhole Baba aka Narayan Sakar Hari, Whose Satsang Event in Hathras Witnessed Deadly Stampede?.

"Suraj Pal, along with 200-250 people, arrived at the cremation ground where the body of a 16-year-old girl had been brought by her family. Suraj Pal and the others stopped the family from performing the last rites, and tried to convince them that he could resurrect her," he said.

According to police station records, the girl, Sneh Lata, was the daughter of a local resident. The case was lodged on March 18, 2000. Singh said the accused forcibly took the body from the family. Meanwhile, the police were informed.

"When we reached the spot, Suraj Pal and his supporters argued with us. He claimed that he could resurrect the girl. His supporters then started pelting stones at the police team. Additional police personnel were called in, and the situation was brought under control. We arrested Suraj Pal and the others involved," said Singh, who retired as Deputy Superintendent of Police in 2019.

A case was lodged at the Shahganj police station against six persons, including Suraj Pal, his wife and four others (two of whom were women) under IPC Section 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no express provision is made for its punishment) and Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 04, 2024 03:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).