SDM, tehsildar, district officer among officials suspended for Hathras stampede | Latest News India

Jul 9, 2024 01:35 PM IST

Officials said the SIT, which on Monday submitted its report blaming the organizers for the panic, did not rule out the possibility of a conspiracy.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday suspended a district magistrate (SDM), a tehsildar, a circle officer, a station house officer and two police station officers for alleged dereliction of duty on the recommendation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the stampede at a religious gathering in Hathras that left 121 people dead last week, officials said.

Panic scene. (PTI)

Officials added that the SIT, which on Monday submitted its report blaming the organisers for the panic, did not rule out the possibility of a conspiracy, but emphasised the need for a thorough investigation.

“The initial SIT investigation has held the organisers primarily responsible for the accident based on eyewitness accounts and other evidence. The SIT has also held the organisers, police and tehsil-level administration responsible,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the SIT found that the suspended officials did not take the gathering seriously and did not inform their superiors. The official added that the SIT said that the SDM had given permission for the event without checking the venue or informing the superiors. He added that the organisers obtained permission for the event by concealing the facts.

The official said that the conditions required to obtain the permit were not met. He added that the organizers did not take appropriate measures and were unable to fulfill the conditions under which the administration allowed them.

The official said the SIT found that people associated with the organising committee were spreading chaos. He added that some people were included in the committee without proper police verification. The official said the organising committee misbehaved with the police and tried to prevent them from inspecting the venue. He added that despite the large crowd, no barriers or arrangements were made for passage.

The official said that the organizing committee members fled the spot in a panic. He added that the SIT recorded statements of 125 people, including administrative and police officials, members of the public and eyewitnesses. “Additionally, news articles about the incident, video footage from the spot, photographs and video clips were also reviewed,” he said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the formation of a two-member SIT, additionally comprising Director General (Agra zone) Anupam Kulshrestha and Divisional Commissioner of Aligarh Chaitra V.