UP DGP Javed Ahmed said on Friday that two policemen, including an SP, and 22 protesters have been killed in clashes between cops and encroachers that broke out in Mathura district’s Jawahar Bagh area on Thursday evening.
“23 policemen are in the hospital. They were attacked brutally by protesters,” the UP DGP told reporters on Friday. The DGP said that so far 124 people have been arrested in the matter. “47 locally-made pistols, 6 rifles and 178 live cartridges have been seized from the site,” he said.
According to state Director General of Police Javed Ahmed, there was “unprovoked” firing by encroachers who pelted stones and attacked the policemen with lathis as they arrived at the site for a recce to carry out the eviction, leading to the death of Superintendent of Police, City, Mukul Dwivedi and Station House officer, Farah, Santosh Yadav.
“The police teams reorganised themselves. After two shelters were vacated, the protesters set afire gas cylinders and munition stored there which led to several explosions. “22 rioters were killed in the violence. These include 11 persons who were killed in a fire started by the agitators,” he said. The deceased also included a woman.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who spoke to Yadav, expressed anguish over the loss of lives and assured all necessary help to the state government.
Many people have been killed apart from SP City Mukul Dwivedi and SHO, Farah, Santosh Yadav, said Pradeep Bhatnagar, Commissioner, Agra Division. A magisterial probe has also been ordered, he said.
In Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav ordered a probe by the divisional commissioner of Mathura, an official spokesperson said. DGP Javed Ahmed and Principal Secretary (Home) Debashish Panda have rushed to Mathura.
The Union Home Minister said he has reviewed the situation in Mathura.
“I have spoken to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh and reviewed the situation in Mathura. I have assured him of all possible help from the Centre.
The entire fiasco is allegedly being linked to supporters of a spiritual leader popularly known as Jai Gurudev. According to the reports, his wealth is estimated to be worth over Rs 12,000 crores. His property includes land worth Rs 4,000 crores.
His original name is believed to be Tulsidas Maharaj and he died in 2012. These encroachers are believed to be the followers of the same sect, known as known as Swadheen Bharat Andolan.
It was in 2014 that Gurudev’s supporters had reportedly occupied hundreds of acres of land of Jawahar Bagh in Mathura on the pretext of a protest. In their social media postings, Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah’s followers describe themselves as political and social revolutionaries.