The toll in the [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Mathura violence rose to 24 on Friday as Superintendent of Police Mukul Dwivedi and others injured in Thursday’s clash[/inlinetweet] between police and encroachers during an anti-encroachment drive, succumbed to their injuries, officials said.
While over 374 people have been arrested in connection to the clashes, the city continues to be tense even as heavy police reinforcement has been deployed in the violence hit region.
Dwivedi, a 1995 batch officer had joined as SP (City) Mathura seven months ago and is being remembered as one of the finest in the district police force.
He was leading the operations following the orders of the court to clear the park of encroachment when police team was greeted with unprovoked and indiscriminate firing by the encroachers, believed to be part of sect called ‘Satyagrahis’.
Akhilesh Yadav orders probe
While [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered a probe into the incident[/inlinetweet], sources say the slain SP many times in the past had shared his frustration about the situation in Jawaharbagh, with friends and family.
‘@UPGovt will ensure the strictest action under law against the perpetrators in the Mathura incident. Speedy prosecution of the accused’-CM
— CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) June 3, 2016
Close aides said that Dwivedi had spoken to them on how his superiors in the district were dissuading him against acting against the people behind the encroachment, despite a specific court order to do so.
He also allegedly told some officials that he was not being provided with adequate police force to clear the encroachment at the sprawling park.
The incident has come as a setback to the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state which braces for elections early next year and is already faced with charges of lawlessness in the state.
Rajnath Singh reviews situation
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday reviewed the situation in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura city[/inlinetweet] where a police sub inspector and superintendent of police among 22 others were killed.
Spoke to UP CM Shri @yadavakhilesh and reviewed the situation in Mathura. I have also assured him of all possible help from the Centre.
— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) June 3, 2016
He further tweeted: “Anguished over the loss of lives in the incidents of violence in Mathura. May God give strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss.”
On Thursday, a mob went on rampage after police took action against them for encroaching upon a major part of a government land.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress leaders have also slammed the state government for letting the situation spin out of control to such fatal consequences.
Activists use grenades, automatic weapons
The activists not only used hand grenades, but also opened fire from automatic weapons after taking position on tree tops, District Magistrate Rajesh Kumar had said.
The area was filled with smoke following explosions from hand grenades and LPG cylinders and several huts caught fire, he said.
Over two years ago, activists of splinter group of Baba Jai Gurudeo had occupied hundreds of acres of land of Jawahar Bagh on the pretext of ‘dharna’
Their demands included “cancellation” of election of President and Prime Minister of India, replacement of existing currency with ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ currency, sale of diesel at the rate of 60 litres for one rupee and petrol at the rate of 40 litres for one rupee.
The High Court had, acting on a PIL, directed the authorities to vacate the land.
In April, Mathura district administration has issued a notice to the protesters asking them to vacate the land.
The land falls under the Horticultural Department of the U.P. government, and attempts by its officials to evict the people had failed.
(With Agency Inputs)