Hathras Stampede: UP Police arrest key suspects; political links being probed

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday said that they have arrested key suspects in the Hathras stampede case and are also probing the political links related to the case.

The police identified the accused as the main organiser Dev Prakash Madhukar, who was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh as well as two other accused Ram Prakash Shakya and Sanju Yadav.

“With today’s arrest, we have now arrested a total of 9 accused in the case,” Hathras Police claimed.

Hathras SP Nipun Aggarwal said that the interrogation of the accused revealed that some political parties had contacted them some time ago.

“Dev Prakash Madhukar was arrested by the district SOG of Hathras on Friday evening from Najafgarh (Delhi) while the Sikandra Rao police arrested accused Ram Prakash Shakya from Kailora Chauraha and accused Sanju Yadav from Gopalpur Kachauri, Sikandra Rao on Saturday,” said SP Aggarwal.

He further noted that Dev Prakash Madhukar, due to his long-term involvement with the organisation, had become its fundraiser, collecting money to support its operations and conduct Satsang. Based on the interrogation thus far, it appears that a political party might be involved with them for its own political and personal gains, he revealed.

Meanwhile, all bank accounts, movable and immovable properties, and money trails associated with the accused Madhukar are being investigated, and assistance from other agencies will be sought as necessary, he said.

Hathras Police said that the interrogation also revealed that the preacher’s vehicle was driven through the crowd by the accused and their assistants, despite knowing that doing so could cause a stampede and a terrible accident due to the rush for the preacher’s blessings.

The police reported that during the initial interrogation, accused Dev Prakash revealed that he has been working on a contract basis as a junior engineer in the MGNREGA in Etah district since 2010. He has been associated with this organisation for years, organising events and collecting funds for it. He was the main organiser of the Satsangs event held in the village of Phulrai on July 2, and he obtained the necessary permissions for this event.

Dev Prakash and other assistants prevented the police administration from intervening at the event site. People were prohibited from doing any videography or photography at the event site. Violating several conditions mentioned in the permit issued by the administration, they disrupted traffic arrangements and other logistics. The interrogation also revealed that no efforts were made to control the crowd, and all of them fled the scene.

–IANS

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.