24 killed as po­lice clash with lit­tle-known sect in Mathura

PO­LICE­MEN KILLED UP chief min­is­ter says ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der­es­ti­mated squat­ting cult’s fire­power

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - He­men­dra Chaturvedi and Prawesh Lama letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Twenty-four peo­ple in­clud­ing a su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice of­fi­cial were killed and hun­dreds in­jured in clashes be­tween se­cu­rity forces and mem­bers of a lit­tle-known revo­lu­tion­ary sect armed with so­phis­ti­cated weapons in Ut­tar Pradesh’s Mathura, of­fi­cials said on Fri­day.

The vi­o­lence erupted when po­lice moved in to the Jawa­har Bagh Park on Thurs­day to evict about 3,000 peo­ple claim­ing to be fol­low­ers of free­dom-fighter Sub­hash Chan­dra Bose.

Among the dead were Mathura su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Mukul Dwivedi and Farah sta­tion house of­fi­cer San­tosh Ya­dav.

Po­lice de­scribed the leader of the squat­ters Ram Vrik­sha Ya­dav as a man with rad­i­cal views. The self-styled revo­lu­tion­ary or­gan­i­sa­tion he led, Swad­hin Bharat Vid­hik Satya­grah, had a slew of bizarre de­mands in­clud­ing abo­li­tion of elec­tions and the In­dian ru­pee.

On Fri­day even­ing, a Bareilly court is­sued a non-bail­able ar­rest war­rant against Ya­dav and in­structed po­lice to present him by June 20.

Chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Ya­dav ad­mit­ted that the gov­ern­ment was taken aback by the amount of fire­power the sect pos­sessed.

“There were some lapses. Po­lice should have gone with full prepa­ra­tion and af­ter hold­ing talks, but there was no in­for­ma­tion that they would be hav­ing so much (arms and am­mu­ni­tion,” he told re­porters.

Ya­dav or­dered the divi­sional com­mis­sioner of Mathura to in­ves­ti­gate the vi­o­lence while the Centre, in turn, sought a report from the state gov­ern­ment. Union home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh spoke to Ya­dav and as­sured the state of all help.

Po­lice ar­rested more than 300 peo­ple and re­cov­ered a huge cache of arms and am­mu­ni­tion from the park which re­sem­bled a war zone the day af­ter. Smoke bil­lowed from huts al­legedly burnt down by en­croach­ers to stop po­lice from mov­ing in.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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