The crowd at the stampede in India was three times larger than allowed

In a harrowing incident, Indian police revealed on July 3 that approximately 250,000 people gathered for a sermon in Uttar Pradesh, significantly exceeding the permitted crowd size of 80,000. This massive turnout, more than three times the allowed number, led to a devastating stampede, resulting in the deaths of at least 121 individuals.

The event, held by the revered preacher Bhole Baba in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, saw an overwhelming number of devotees. According to the police report, as soon as the sermon concluded, the preacher departed in a car, prompting a frenzied rush of attendees attempting to touch his feet and the ground he walked on. The police noted, “The crowd became uncontrollable, with many attendees trampling over those seated on the ground.”

Efforts by the preacher’s staff to hold back the throngs only added to the chaos, causing several people to fall. The stampede intensified as panic-stricken devotees scrambled to escape the congested area. Some fled towards a nearby muddy field, slipping and falling, while others were blocked by staff wielding sticks, further exacerbating the situation.

This tragic event underscores the dire need for stringent crowd control measures at large gatherings. The Indian police’s investigation continues as they seek to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring again.

In response to the heartbreaking incident in Uttar Pradesh, where a massive stampede claimed 121 lives, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has demanded a thorough investigation to uncover the root causes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that every possible assistance will be extended to the victims and their families.

The Indian police have initiated legal proceedings against the organizers of the sermon and plan to apprehend the self-styled preacher, Baba, by July 3. However, Baba’s whereabouts remain unknown. Remarkably, Baba, once a police officer himself, transitioned into a self-proclaimed spiritual leader, frequently conducting sermons in villages across the region.

This tragedy is not an isolated event. India has witnessed numerous stampedes during religious gatherings and pilgrimages in recent years. Indian MP Rajesh Kumar Jha has voiced serious concerns about the recurring casualties at such events, warning that if strict safety protocols are not enforced, more lives will be lost.

The investigation spearheaded by Chief Minister Adityanath aims to implement stringent measures to prevent future incidents. With the combined efforts of local authorities and support from the central government, the focus is now on ensuring that such a catastrophe does not repeat itself.