Hathras stampede: Main accused fled to Delhi after the incident, now in the custody of Uttar Pradesh Police

The Uncut

Noida: Devprakash Madhukar, the prime accused in the stampede during a satsang in Hathras on July 2, had fled to Delhi after the incident and was taken into custody by the Uttar Pradesh police late Friday night, officials said.

121 people died in the stampede in Hathras. Madhukar’s lawyer A P Singh claimed late on Friday night that his client had surrendered before the police in Delhi.

A police official told PTI that Madhukar was detained by a team of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Hathras police. Another police official in Hathras, on condition of anonymity, said, “He (Madhukar) was detained from Delhi near Najafgarh area.”

However, the police have not yet officially announced the arrest of Madhukar, the main sevadar of the satsang. He is the only named accused in the FIR lodged at the Sikandra Rao police station in Hathras in connection with the incident.

Madhukar’s lawyer A P Singh had claimed in a video message that his client has surrendered in Delhi, where his treatment is going on. Singh had said on Friday, “We have got Devprakash Madhukar, the main accused in the FIR lodged in the Hathras case, surrendered today. He was undergoing treatment here, so the police, SIT and STF were called to Delhi.”

“We had promised that we will not file an application for anticipatory bail as we have not done anything wrong. What is our crime? He is an engineer and a heart patient. The doctors said his condition is stable now and so we surrendered today to join the investigation,” the lawyer said.

Singh said the police can now record her statement or question her, but they should keep in mind her health condition and ensure that “nothing wrong happens to her.”

He said, “We did not take any step like filing anticipatory bail or going to court as it would have been seen as an attempt to save ourselves and a step taken out of fear… Questions are being raised about where he (Madhukar) is and whether he has fled.”

He said Madhukar will join the investigation and share information about the “anti-social elements” present at the event. The Uttar Pradesh police had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to Madhukar’s arrest.

On July 3, the Supreme Court lawyer had claimed that he also represents preacher Surajpal alias ‘Narayan Saakar Hari’ alias ‘Bhole Baba’, in whose satsang the stampede took place. The lawyer said that some “anti-social elements” were behind the incident.

Singh had said that Surajpal is ready to cooperate with the state administration and police and has demanded an investigation into the entire matter. Till Thursday, six people, including two women members of the organizing committee of ‘Bhole Baba’ satsang, have been arrested in this case.

A case was registered on July 2 under sections 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 126 (2) (wrongful restraint), 223 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 238 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.

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