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    Hathras stampede: Crowd was poisoned, alleges Baba’s lawyer | India News


    AGRA: The lawyer representing the self-styled godman Surajpal Singh alias Bhole Baba, in whose event at Hathras 121 people were killed during a stampede last Tuesday, has alleged that a ‘conspiracy‘ was behind the tragedy and the melee was “sparked by some miscreants spreading poisonous substances in the crowd, resulting in several deaths by asphyxiation.”
    A P Singh, advocate for the godman, claimed that “more than a dozen individuals were seen throwing poisonous substances at the crowd”, which caused panic and led to the catastrophe.Singh made these claims at a media briefing in Delhi on Sunday. Later, speaking to TOI, Singh said, “A few eyewitnesses have reached out to me anonymously and disclosed that there were 15-16 individuals carrying cans filled with poisonous substances. They opened these among the crowd. I have seen post-mortem reports of those killed, which showed that they died of asphyxiation and not because of injuries.”
    Addressing the press conference, Singh had termed the incident “a conspiracy against Bhole Baba.” “The miscreants, dressed in half-pants and scarves, were seen running in the crowd, spraying the poisonous substance from the cans. Eyewitnesses said women were falling to the ground because of this. These individuals were seen fleeing and boarding cars soon after,” he alleged.
    He added, “I met some women in hospital after the incident, and they told me they saw unidentified men running in the crowd, spreading this spray. People fell to the ground, and others trampled over them. It was a pre-planned mass murder. The conspiracy was hatched to malign Baba, whose popularity among people has been rising.”
    Singh urged the police to seize CCTV footage from toll booths to identify the car registration numbers of the miscreants. He also shared several documents showing the permission granted by the Hathras administration for the event.
    Nine people, including the main accused – chief organiser Devprakash Madhukar – have been arrested in connection with the stampede so far. Officials said Madhukar was not only the organiser but also the fundraiser of the satsang, where more than 2.5 lakh people had gathered, three times above the permitted limit of 80,000. Bhole Baba was not mentioned as an accused in the FIR lodged at the local Sikandra Rau police station.
    On Saturday, Hathras police had said they were also probing the suspected funding of the congregation by a political party and warned of the “strictest possible action” against it.
    (With agency inputs)





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