SIT chief on Hathras: Evidence suggests organisers’ culpability | Agra News

SIT chief on Hathras: Evidence suggests organisers' culpability

HATHRAS: Authorities investigating Tuesday’s stampede at a ‘satsang’ in Hathras have recorded 90 statements, including that of the DM and SP as well as UP health department officers, who managed the situation following the tragedy.
Anupam Kulshrestha, ADG (Agra zone) and head of the SIT probing the stampede that claimed 121 lives, told PTI, “Evidence suggests culpability on the part of the event’s organisers.”
Late Friday night, the lawyer of main accused Devprakash Madhukar claimed that he had surrendered in Delhi and taken into custody by UP police.Madhukar, the ‘mukhya sevadar’ of the satsang where the stempede occurred, is the only accused named in the FIR. Six other sevadars have been arrested and Kulshrestha said more arrests are likely.
Anupam Kulshrestha, ADG (Agra zone) and head of SIT probing the Hathras stampede, said a possible “conspiracy angle” could not be ruled out. Those involved in the probe are considering delving deeper into the angle. “More evidence has emerged from the statements (of 90 people recorded so far), and our investigation is strengthening,” the IPS officer said.
Devprakash Madhukar, the chief organiser, is the only named accused in the FIR so far; Surajpal is not mentioned.
Announcing Madhukar’s surrender, his lawyer AP Singh said in a video message that he had been undergoing medical treatment in Delhi. “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 to join the probe,” Singh said.
Inspector general (Aligarh range) Shalabh Mathur said, “We will make further arrests based on our findings… We will question the baba if necessary. It is too early to comment on his role. He has not been named in the FIR, which holds the ‘sevadars’ responsible. The organising committee took permission for the satsang, and members have been arrested.”
Mathur said that the organisers did not allow police involvement, managing the event themselves.
Governor Anandiben Patel has directed the state to form a three-member judicial inquiry commission to investigate the incident. The commission, led by retired Allahabad HC judge Justice Brijesh Kumar Srivastav, includes retired IAS officers Hemant Rao and Bhavesh Kumar.

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