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Hathras stampede probe: Key accused Madhukar worked as fundraiser for satsang, linked to political parties

Devprakash Madhukar, the main accused in the Hathras stampede that claimed 121 lives, was arrested in Delhi's Najafgarh area. SP Nipun Aggarwal disclosed Madhukar's role in fundraising for the Satsang and suspected political links. Investigations into funding sources and Madhukar's activities are ongoing, with efforts to trace financial trails and verify political party involvement.

Hathras Stampede Key accused Madhukar raised funds for Satsand political links arrested in Delhi SP vkp
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First Published Jul 6, 2024, 5:13 PM IST

Nipun Aggarwal, Superintendent of Police (SP), Hathras, announced on Saturday that Devprakash Madhukar, the main accused in the July 2 Hathras stampede that claimed 121 lives, has been arrested. Addressing a press conference, SP Aggarwal revealed that Madhukar was apprehended late Friday evening in Delhi's Najafgarh area by the Special Operations Group of Hathras police.

"The Satsang's funding is under scrutiny," stated Aggarwal. "We are investigating the sources of the money. There are suspicions of a political link, and if any political party is found guilty, it will not be spared."

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SP Aggarwal also mentioned that a judicial inquiry commission team would inspect the incident spot in Hathras. "Madhukar and his associate Sevadar failed to make the necessary arrangements for the Satsang.. After the stampede occurred, all of them fled the scene. Bhole Baba's convoy moved through a huge crowd despite knowing the risks of causing a stampede. He added that those responsible will be held accountable.

The police are thoroughly investigating the financial aspects of the event. "The matter of funding has come up, and it is under investigation. The program was organized on a large scale, with uniforms being distributed. We are examining where the money for such a massive event is coming from. All bank accounts, trust details, and donor lists are being scrutinized. It appears that a political party might be funding them, but we need to trace the money trail to confirm this," Aggarwal explained.

It was reported that Madhukar, who was also known as the 'mukhya sevadar' of the 'Satsang' where the stampede occurred, had been contacted by some political parties recently. SP Aggarwal disclosed that Madhukar worked as a fundraiser for events of the self-styled godman Surajpal, also known as Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba, and was responsible for collecting donations.

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The police are now seeking Madhukar's remand to delve deeper into his financial transactions and money trails. "We are examining his financial records and call detail records," Aggarwal said.

However, Madhukar's lawyer, A P Singh, claimed that his client had surrendered to the police in Delhi while seeking medical treatment. On Saturday afternoon, around 2:15 pm, Madhukar was brought to the Bagla Combined District Hospital in Hathras for a medical examination amid heavy security.

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