MATHURA/LUCKNOW: A policeman and a civilian were killed and over 40 people injured in violence during an anti-encroachment drive in Mathura district, a top official said.
The violence occurred in Jawahar Bag when the policemen were trying to remove encroachment upon a land in Mathura by activists, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.
"Santosh Kumar, SHO, Farah police station was killed in firing by the encroachers, whereas SP (City) Mukul Dwivedi also sustained bullet injury and he is critical," IG (Law and Order) H R Sharma told PTI. District Divisional Commissioner, Agra, Pradeep Bhatnagar said a civilian was also killed.
Sharma said around 3000 encroachers pelted stones and later opened fire at the police team as they reached the spot.
In retaliation, the police had to fire after using batons and tear gas at them, he said.
CMO Mathura Vivek Mishra said at least four dozen people including, two dozen police personnel were injured in the clashes.
Search operations were on in Jawahar Bag though activists of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi were dispossessed by the joint operation of civil police, PAC and RAF.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased policeman.
He directed the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) to rush to the spot and bring the situation under control.
He also directed that additional police reinforcement be rushed to the area and the guilty be arrested.
Ram Vraksha Yadav, leader of the activists and the security officer of the group Chandan Gaur managed to flee along with thousands of their supporters, DM Rajesh Kumar said.
The activists were offensive from the beginning and used not only hand grenades but also started firing with automatic weapons after taking position at tree tops, he said.
The area was filled with smoke due to blast of hand grenades and LPG cylinders following which several huts caught fire which was finally doused by fire tenders, the DM said.
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 high court, acting on a PIL, had recently directed the authorities to vacate the land.