Mathura violence: Heavily armed ‘Netaji’ sect used hand-grenade, swords

Senior police officials who led the police evacuation team said they did not expect that the sect followers would be so heavily armed.

June 03, 2016 04:19 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - Mathura

The ‘Netaji’ sect which clashed with the police in Mathura was heavily armed and had sufficient ammunitions to attack the police. So, when the police went on Thursday to evacuate the Jawaharbagh park, they were attacked with guns, swords, grenades and knives.

Senior police officials who led the police evacuation team told The Hindu that they did not expect that the sect followers would be so heavily armed — a view with which even the State Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav agreed.

Huge cache of arms

The State police chief Javed Ahmad told the media on Friday afternoon that huge cache of arms recovered from the encroachers include 178 live cartridge, 45 country made pistols and eight rifles.

Even as the police was trying to find out more about the history of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi or the ‘Netaji’ sect, as the encroachers identified themselves, State DGP Javed Ahmad said that Rambriksh Yadav, chief of the outfit, will be charged with the stringent National Security Act, if he was found alive.

Two police officers Mukul Dwivedi, the Superintendent of Police who was leading the eviction drive on Thursday evening and his colleague, Santosh Kumar Yadav were killed during the offensive. Twenty two rioters, all of whom were members of the ‘Netaji’ sect were also killed during the violence. The DGP said 11 of the encroachers had died due to the fire started by fellow encroachers.

Meanwhile, mother of Mukul Dwivedi, the police officer who died in the violence, rejected the compensation amount announced by the Chief Minister and instead asked the CM to “bring back my son”.

CM faces criticism

The Chief Minister of the State Akhilesh Yadav who is facing criticism over the extent of violence, criticised the manner in which police handled the eviction drive.

During a press conference on Friday, the Chief Minister accepted failure on behalf of the State police in handling the eviction drive. “Police should have gone to evict the encroachers with much better preparedness,” he said.

He also expressed surprise at the presence of arms and ammunitions with the encroachers. He said he "did not anticipate that the members of the sect who attacked the police would be so well armed".

A huge police force of over thousand police personnel were engaged to control the situation as the encroachers started attacking the police team on Thursday.

Thousands of members of the “Netaji” sect had encroached the 270-acre plot of Jawaharbagh park since 2014 on the pretext of sitting on protest with a set of demands which included cancelling the election of the President and Prime Minister of India.

The police started the eviction drive after a court order asking the authorities to remove hundreds of tents and makeshift wooden structures built by the encroachers in the park.

The violence in Mathura had led to the Opposition attacking the Samajwadi Party government over its "failure to control the violence".

The BSP chief Mayawati demanded resignation of the state government and a judicial probe into the violence.

PTI adds..

What led to these clashes?

Over two years ago, activists of splinter group of Baba Jai Gurudeo, claiming themselves to be member of ‘Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi’, 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 activists have been occupying the land since then.

The Allahabad High Court had, acting on a PIL, recently directed the authorities to vacate the land.

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