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Kripalu Maharaj goes missing after stampede

March 05, 2010 14:58 IST

Kripalu Maharaj, whose ashram witnessed a stampede killing 63 people, fled from the complex two hours after the tragedy and is untraceable, a district official said on Friday.

Circle officer Ikpal Singh said that Maharaj fled some two hours after the stampede and is yet to be traced.
Police sources said that the 88-year-old Maharaj, who heads the Radha Madhav society which has centres abroad, had earlier faced charges of indecent assault and rape in 1997 in Nagpur.

In 2007, a woman from Trinidad had also leveled similiar charges against him. He was also accused of attempts to illegally acquire a farmer's land in Barsana, Mathura where he has another ashram. However, the sources said the charges have not been proved against him.

The sprawling ashram, about 60 kms from here, wore a deserted look today even as a heavy police contingent was deployed there.

Some 50 families searching for their missing relatives have visited the ashram since yesterday. Though the ashram has been kept out of bounds by the police, families have been trickling there looking for their near and dear ones.

Meanwhile, the administration has made preparations for the last rites of the victims at various ghats in the city.
District Magistrate Chob Singh Verma said government officials ave been deputed to oversee the cremation of the deceased. The situation is peaceful, he said.

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