Mathura riots are taking a toll as violence is increasing and killing a lot of people. A violent clash between the police and the activists of two outfits, the Azad Bharata Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi and the Swadheen Bharata Subhash Sena, have left 24 people dead in Mathura, including an SP and an SHO.
The activists of these outfits had illegaly occupied 280 acres of Jawahar Bagh since 2014 on the pretext of dharna. Police who tried to evict these illegal occupants, after a directive from Allahabad High Court, were attacked with swords, guns and even automatic machines.
These groups are the followers of Baba Jai Gurudev, who died in 2012 leaving behind assets of Rs. 1,200 crore. His followers occupied Jawahar Bagh two years ago to claim his property through protest and to make other demands. He had a huge number of followers from backward classes who hailed him a hero. There have been cases filed against the ashram and his followers of encroaching on hundreds of acres of industrial land.There are complaints from farmers accusing Gurudev’s followers of forcefully taking over their farmland.
Mathura has suffered 24 deaths in these riots. The police said the squatters had illegally accumulated nearly 1,000 LPG cylinders which were used to cause explosion and fire. Eleven of the deaths were caused by these blasts. Earlier today, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had said, “A chook (mistake) has happened, the mistake was the police went without full preparation. There was so much danger involved. No one knew how many explosives were inside” (the illegally occupied park).
Last evening, as policemen gathered at Jawahar Bagh, a 260-acre park, nearly 3,000 members of the sect opened attack. They were armed with swords and grenades. Several, perched on trees for vantage position, shot at the police, who then returned fire. Superintendent of Police Mukul Dwivedi was killed, along with his colleague Santosh Kumar Yadav. The other victims are members of the sect which appears to have functioned more like a cult. Over 300 members of the sect have been arrested.
Over the last two years, the police had met with violence in repeated attempts to evict the squatters, so it is not clear why they had not anticipated violence. It is also not known how the members of the sect accumulated the huge tranche of weapons that was later recovered from the park without causing any suspicion.Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident and maintained that without political protection the people could not have stored large quantities of arms and illumination.Hema Malini, the local MP, also favoured a CBI inquiry into the incident.