in ,

“Death Toll Rises to 121 in India’s Worst Stampede Since 2008, ‘Godman’ Bhole Baba Unscathed and on the Run


A devastating stampede at a religious gathering in Phulrai Mughalsarai village in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, has left 121 people dead and over a hundred injured. The tragedy occurred on Tuesday when thousands of devotees rushed to collect the dust from the ground touched by self-proclaimed ‘godman’ Bhole Baba, whose real name is Suraj Pal.

Pal, a former head constable with the Uttar Pradesh Police, has been preaching for over two decades and has amassed a massive following across north India. His message of ‘manavta’ or humanism, laced with superstition, has attracted millions of devotees, mostly from the poor and backward classes.

The stampede occurred when Pal left the stage after delivering a sermon, and devotees rushed forward to collect the dust from the ground he had touched, a practice they call ‘Raj’. The ground was wet, and there was an unfortunate slope, with barely any security measures in place for the large crowd.

The tragedy has raised questions about the lack of security arrangements and the influence of ‘godmen’ like Bhole Baba, who has been accused of superstition and controversy in the past. In 2000, a case was registered against him under the Drugs & Magical Remedies Act, and in 2021, he was accused of organizing a gathering of 50,000 people despite pandemic restrictions.

The organization of his satsangs, overseen by sevadaars, has also come under scrutiny. Devotees claim that no prasad is offered, and dust from his feet is sufficient, which has increased his following. However, the operational revenue of the organization and the wealth amassed by Pal are still unclear and are being examined.

The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered an investigation into the tragedy, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that the permission for the congregation was taken by the committee members, who are primarily responsible for the stampede.

Despite the tragedy, devotees like Leelawati, who was injured in the stampede, remain faithful to Bhole Baba. “I owe my life to Bhole Baba. I had a severe illness and have been attending his sermons for 13 years. He cured me in 2012,” she said.

Written by Zamir Azad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Delhi Court to Pronounce Order on ED’s Charge Sheets Naming Kejriwal, AAP in Money Laundering Case

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi Gives Update on Babar Azam’s Captaincy Future Amid Criticism