Hathras stampede: Massive operation launched to nab the main accused, search for ‘Baba’ continues

The Uncut

Hathras. Uttar Pradesh government agencies have launched a search operation in the state as well as neighbouring Rajasthan and Haryana to arrest Devprakash Madhukar, the prime accused in the Hathras stampede case, official sources said on Friday. A senior official told PTI that various agencies are also looking for preacher Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias ‘Bhole Baba’ for questioning.

A total of 121 people, mostly women, died in a stampede after ‘Bhole Baba’s’ satsang in Fullerai village of Hathras district on July 2. In the FIR registered in this case, only the main sevadar Madhukar is named as the accused and Surajpal’s name has not been registered. This FIR was registered at Sikandrarao police station in Hathras in which apart from Madhukar, “many unknown organizers” were also made accused and so far six suspects have been arrested in the case.

The officer told PTI-Bhasha, “No one has been given a clean chit. The investigation is on and government agencies are looking for the absconding main accused. The agencies are also looking for the preacher for questioning.” The officer also said, “As part of the search operation, the team has searched some parts of western Uttar Pradesh and eastern districts of the state. The team is also searching in states like Rajasthan and Haryana.”

Meanwhile, the report of the Special Task Team (SIT) formed to investigate the stampede incident has been submitted to the Chief Minister. Additional Director General of Police (Agra Zone) Anupam Kulshreshtha has submitted this report to the government. According to the official, the confidential report includes statements of Hathras District Magistrate Ashish Kumar, Superintendent of Police Nipun Aggarwal and senior officials of the Health Department who witnessed the emergency situation created due to the stampede.

Police had registered a case 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.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday constituted a three-member judicial commission headed by a retired High Court judge to investigate the Hathras tragedy. The commission will also investigate whether this incident was a “conspiracy”.

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