Ram Vriksh Yadav, the man on the run who the Uttar Pradesh Police believes is one of the main culprits of Thursday’s violence in Mathura, reportedly receives a monthly pension of Rs 15,000 from the state government as ‘Loktantra Rakshak Senani’.
The UP government gives the pension to people arrested under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency years, and the amount was recently raised by Rs 5,000.
Yadav, 55, is a resident of Raipur Bagpur village, under Mardah police station of Ghazipur district, and was leading the protesters under the umbrella ‘Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah’. Originally a farmer, he had reportedly moved to Mathura with his family some three years ago. His house in Ghazipur is since locked.
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Ghazipur Additional District Magistrate Anand Kumar Shukla said they have sought a report from Mathura district administration to verify Yadav’s identity. “We have asked for the names of his father and wife, as also his photograph, to verify with our records,” Shukla said. “After receiving the report, we will initiate further action to cancel the file related to his pension.”
Raipur Bagpur’s village pradhan, Shiv Narain Yadav, said Ram Vriksh had never come to the village in the last two years, and had never been active in any political movement there. “He has two sons and two daughters – one son employed in Gujarat and the other studying. Of the daughters, one is married and the other was a graduation student when the family left the village,” the pradhan said.
Mardah police station’s Station Officer Durgeshwar Mishra said no criminal case is lodged against Ram Vrikash there.
According to sources in Mathura, after spiritual leader Jai Gurudev’s death, a three-way battle erupted between his supporters for rights on his more than Rs 12,000-crore empire. Ram Vriksha reportedly tried to forcefully claim the inheritance of the trust, but lost to Pankaj Yadav, a family member of Gurudev and the eventual heir. The third claimant, one Umakant Tiwari, at present works with Jai Gurudev Ashram.
Inputs from Ishita Mishra