Devprakash Madhukar, key accused in Hathras stampede, surrenders in Delhi

Noida: Devprakash Madhukar, the main accused in the July 2 Hathras stampede that claimed 121 lives, has surrendered to the Uttar Pradesh Police in Delhi, his lawyer confirmed on Friday night.Madhukar, the ‘mukhya sevadar’ of the ‘satsang’ where the stampede occurred, is the sole accused named in the FIR lodged at Sikandra Rao police station in Hathras in connection with the incident.

In a video message, Madhukar’s lawyer A P Singh stated that his client surrendered in Delhi while undergoing medical treatment.

“Today, we have surrendered Devprakash Madhukar, who has been called the main organiser in the FIR in the Hathras case, after calling the police, the SIT and the STF in Delhi since he was undergoing treatment here,” Singh said.

“We had promised we would not apply for anticipatory bail since we did no wrong. What is our crime? He is an engineer and a heart patient. Doctors said his condition is stable now and so we surrendered today to join the probe,” the lawyer said.

Singh mentioned that the police might now record Madhukar’s statement or question him but must consider his health condition and ensure that “nothing wrong happens with him.”

“We did not do anything like filing anticipatory bail or moving court which would have been viewed as an effort to save ourselves and being scared… questions were being raised about his (Madhukar) whereabouts and if he had run away,” he claimed.

Madhukar will join the investigation and share information about the “anti-social elements” present at the event, he added.

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 Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba, the self-styled godman at whose ‘satsang’ the stampede occurred, and that some “anti-social elements” were behind the tragedy.

Surajpal was ready to cooperate with the state administration and police and had sought a thorough investigation into the entire matter, Singh had stated.

As of Thursday, six people, including two women volunteers who were members of the organising committee of Bhole Baba’s ‘satsang’, had been arrested in the case.

An FIR was lodged in the matter on July 2 under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) sections 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 110 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 126 (2) (wrongful restraint), 223 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant) and 238 (causing disappearance of evidence).

On July 3, the Uttar Pradesh government formed a three-member judicial commission headed by a retired high court judge to investigate the Hathras tragedy and explore the possibility of a conspiracy behind the stampede.