A satsang by a local preacher ‘Bhole Baba’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras turned into the site of a tragedy as 116 people, almost all of them women, were killed in a stampede on tuesday.

Who is Bhole Baba? Also known as Narayan Sakar Vishwa Hari, the self-styled preacher was once Suraj Pal Singh, a constable with the Uttar Pradesh Police.

What’s behind the tragedy? Initial probe suggests that “extreme humidity” and the “rush of devotees to touch the feet of the godman” could have triggered the chaos in the first place. The number of people also exceeded the permitted limit.

👉 In Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress a day after he and his party were targeted by Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi. Targeting Rahul, Modi used the word balak buddhi (immature mind) multiple times in his speech and alleged that the Congress was trying to spread chaos in defeat and was deliberately abusing Hindus.

Festive offer

Meanwhile, several portions of Rahul’s speech were expunged, from his references to Hinduism in the context of the BJP to mentions of the Agnipath scheme and the NEET row. Read our report.

Only in Express

“Prem ki bhebe chinte kora jaye (can you plan and fall in love)?”

A video from Bengal showing a couple being publicly flogged sparked nationwide outrage. Speaking to The Indian Express, the woman in the video said she can put the ignominy of being beaten and humiliated in public behind her as long as she gets to “live life on her own terms.” Read her account.

🔴 Must read

On the face of it, Modinomics is a “strategy specifically designed to encourage investment, indeed to convince the whole world to ‘Make in India’”. However, “global investors have been reluctant to beat a path to India’s doorstep and even domestic firms have been investment-shy, especially in manufacturing”. What has gone wrong? Read Josh Felman and Arvind Subramanian’s column.

In the continuing row over Hindenburg Research’s allegations against the Adani Group, the Indian market regulator Sebi has issued a show-cause notice to the US-based short seller. What followed was charges against the Kotak Bankwhich the bank has refuted on its part.

On June 28, Iran conducted its first round of voting to elect a new president, following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May. With neither of the top two candidates securing more than 50% of the votes, they will compete in a run-off election on July 5. An expert explains the role of the President in Iran’s hybrid theocratic-democratic system and examines the positions of these candidates on key issues.

A semi-burnt mobile phone, from which forensic experts in Gujarat recovered the memory chip, is key evidence gathered by the CID of Karnataka police in a case of sexual assault of a minor involving senior BJP leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa. Here’s how the Gujarat forensic lab assisted in the investigation of the case.

➡️ And finally…

The T20 World Cup final had been in favor of South Africa when Axar Patel unexpectedly strode onto the field, promoted ahead of Shivam Dube and well ahead of his usual position. This marked a pivotal moment in Axar’s story, dubbed the ‘Jayasuriya of Nadiad’, showcasing how years of dedication culminated in a crucial performance during the World Cup final.

Delhi Confidential: As PM Modi’s address in the Lok Sabha continued for more than two hours, protesting MPs looked exhausted. Suddenly, the PM tapped on the shoulder of an MP raising slogans in front of his seat and offered him a glass of water. Here’s what happened next.

🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we discuss concerns over new criminal laws, a controversial cake-cutting incident in Gujarat, and the stampede in Hathras.

Until next time,

Sonal Gupta and Aradhana Kalia

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