Mathura on the edge, SP among 21 killed in clashes

A fire breaks out after clashes between police and encroachers who were being evicted from Jawahar Bagh in Mathura. HT Photo

MATHURA (TIP): At least 21 people, including an SP and an SHO, have been killed in the massive clash between police and encroachers that broke out here on Thursday even as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered an inquiry.

19 people have been killed apart from SP City Mukul Dwivedi and SHO, Farah, Santosh Yadav, Pradeep Bhatnagar, commissioner, Agra division, said on Friday.

A magisterial probe has also been ordered, he said.

The violence had erupted when police were trying to evict illegal occupants, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, from Jawahar Bagh on Thursday on the directions of the Allahabad high court.

In Lucknow, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered a probe by the divisional commissioner of Mathura, an official spokesperson said. The Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh each for the families of the martyred policemen.

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The situation in Mathura remains tense and DGP Javed Ahmed and principal secretary (home) Debashish Panda have rushed here.

Rajnath reviews situation 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.

“I am anguished over the loss of lives in the incident in Mathura. May God give strength to the bereaved families,” Rajnath Singh said.

According to reports, the encroachers were from a semi-religious sect, who described themselves as “Satyagrahis”.

The agitators had occupied the park in the Jawahar Bagh area for over two years. The 260-acre park is valued in crores of rupees.

The encroachers, who have been on a protest for two years, demand “cancellation of the elections” of the President and Prime Minister of India.

They also want that diesel be sold at 60 litres a rupee and petrol at 40 litres a rupee. The existing currency, they also say, should be replaced.

According to police, members of this outfit and another smaller organisation, Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena, had been staging demonstrations at Jawahar Bagh over the last two-and-a-half years. Among the other demands posted on their Facebook page are: “We demand all records relating to the ‘Ruler of the Nation’, law and order, and also the document of citizenship (which shows how we are citizens of the nation) to be made public.”

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