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Mathura tense after eviction clashes kill 21 including 2 police officers

Tension prevails in temple town after police move in to evict 3000 cult members who had occupied a park for more than two years
Mathura Violence

Mathura was tense on Friday, a day after 14 people were killed in clashes during an eviction drive. The dead include a  Superintendent of Police (SP) and a Station House Officer. (SHO). Over a 100 people were injured when police forced their way to evict some 3000 people who had occupied the Jawahar Bagh in the temple town, late on Thursday.

Mathura SP Mukul Dwivedi and Farah Station Officer Santosh Yadav were killed when members of Swadheen Bharat Subash Sena (SBSS) allegedly fired at them when police tried to evict them from the sprawling park. The duo received bullet injuries on their head. While Yadav died before reaching the hospital, Dwivedi succumbed to his injuries later.

” Two police officers and 12 encroachers were killed in Thursday’s clashes,” ADGP Daljeet Singh Chaudhary said in Mathura on Friday.

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Sadar Station Officer Pradeep Yadav who received bullet injuries on his chest, head and arms have been admitted to the hospital.

Some 200 occupants of the park have been detained following the clashes.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said Divisional Commissioner Agra will conduct an inquiry into the clashes and police firing.

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A large number of policemen had come to evict members of SBSS and two other organisations who have been staging demonstrations at the park for two and a half years. The police action came soon after the Allahabad High Court rejected the petition of SBSS to continue their sit-in.

Police said several swords, country made pistols, rifles  and guns were recovered from the 260 acre park. Rajesh Kumar, a senior government official claimed the occupiers had fired upon the police using automatic weapons from tree tops.

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The members of SBSS and two other organisations, including the Jai Gurudev sect had been staging demonstrations at the park for more than two and a half years. There were reports that many of the occupiers were camping in the park with their families, including children. Several tents were erected after the occupiers moved in.

The members of these cult like organisations  claim they are the “true followers”  of  Netaji Subash Bose. Among other things they have been demanding the introduction of Indian currency with Azad Hind Fauj currency, sale of 40 litres of petrol and 60 litres of diesel at Re 1 each.

The Allahabad High Court had ordered the eviction of the park, several months ago. Subsequently the Mathura administration had served a 48 hour notice to the occupiers to vacate the park on April 15. Tension has been building up in the area ever since.

An unsuccessful attempt was made to clear the park on 25 May.

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