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UP clash: Mathura SP among 2 cops killed in standoff with ‘Netaji cult’

The clashes broke out when police were trying to evict illegal occupants of a land in Jawahar Bagh by activists, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.

Written by Ishita Mishra | Mathura |
Updated: July 21, 2016 4:56:03 pm
UP clash, uttar pradesh clash, mathura clash, Jawahar Bagh by activists, azad bharat vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, H R Sharma, policeman dead, cdead policeman, mathura police dead, uttar pradesh news, india news At least six policemen were injured in the clashes. (Express Photo)

THEIR demands include the cancellation of elections for President and Prime Minister, replacement of rupee with ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ currency, and sale of 60 litres of diesel and 40 litres of petrol at Re 1 each.

But the bizarre case of a cult-like group of nearly 2,000 protesters, who claim to be the “true followers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose”, took a deadly turn in Mathura Thursday with clashes that led to the killing of two police officers, including a Superintendent of Police, and injuries to at least six policemen.

The protesters allegedly started firing on a police team that reached Jawahar Bagh to clear the area after the Allahabad High Court ordered that acres of government land be reclaimed from the Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi.

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.”

On Thursday, government officials and police reached the spot around 5 pm and used teargas initially before the protesters allegedly started firing back. According to Mathura police, two bullets hit Station Officer (Farah), Santosh Yadav, who was declared dead on arrival by doctors at Niyati Hospital. SP (City) Mukul Dwivedi, who was placed on ventilator support, succumbed to bullet injuries later, said doctors at the private hospital.

Station Officer (Sadar) Pradeep Kumar were among those who suffered bullet injuries on the chest, hands and head. “We are trying to identify the miscreants to lodge an FIR,” D C Mishra, IG (Agra Zone), told The Indian Express.

So far, police have been able to identify only one of the group’s leaders, Ram Vriksha Yadav, but have no further information about him or his associates.

Police sources said a few of their colleagues were even held captive by the protesters for a while on Thursday. But, they added, police destroyed all tents erected by the protesters and bulldozed a wall at the park.

”These activists were followers of Baba Jai Gurudeo and have named their outfit as ‘Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi’. They have occupied hundreds of acres of land at Jawahar Bagh on the pretext of holding a ‘dharna’ since more than two years. Even after several notices were served to them, they were not ready to leave the premises,” said Rajesh Kumar, District Magistrate, Mathura.

”The Allahabad High Court had ordered the government land vacated months ago. These activists filed a PIL in the High Court, which dismissed their plea and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on them,” said Kumar.

Officials and witnesses said there had been tension in the area ever since the Mathura administration gave the protesters a 48-hour ultimatum on April 15 that lapsed without any action being initiated. On May 25, the administration made an unsuccessful attempt to evict the protesters.

Late Thursday night, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered an inquiry into the incident to be conducted by the Divisional Commissioner (Agra).

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