FIR against Jai Gurudev leader over stampede

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Varanasi, Oct 17 (IANS) A FIR has been registered against the leader of the Jai Gurudev sect over the Varanasi stampede that killed 25 persons and injured more than 100 on Saturday.

Pankaj Maharaj was booked for providing wrong information to the district authorities about the size of the crowd expected to attend the religious congregation on Saturday.

The sect is considered close to Samajwadi Party chief in Uttar Pradesh, Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Informed sources say the FIR was registered only after Pankaj Maharaja left for Allahabad.

An official said, based on the FIR and the evidence, the spiritual leader may be arrested.

Pankaj Maharaja, a disciple of the late Jai Gurudev Baba, had expressed his grief over the incident but had washed his hands off any mismanagement on the part of the organisation.

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He had said that in future he would hold even larger spiritual events.

The stampede occurred on the 130-year-old Raj Ghat bridge across the Ganga as the congregation was headed to the event presided by the religious leader from Mathura. The dead include 20 women and five men.



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