NEW DELHI: Expressing grave concern over the Mathura violence, the Congress Party on Friday cornered the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party Government over the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and questioned the ignorance of the local police for not being aware about the ground reality.
Termed the incident as unfortunate, Congress spokesperson Shobha Oja said, “3,000 people were illegally occupying this Jawahar Garden for last two years. And when the police tried to vacate them, they opened fire.”
“It is a matter of great concern as to how people had arms and ammunitions and how it was used against the police. This speaks volumes about the law and order situation in UP. It shows how ignorant the local police was about these people, who were living in this garden,” she added.
At least 14 people, including two cops, were killed in violent clashes between the police and illegal occupants of a land in Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh area last night.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and assured him of complete help from the Centre in wake of the unfortunate incident.
Superintendent of Police (City) Mukul Dwivedi and Farah Police Station SHO Santosh Yadav were among those killed when the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS) activists opened fire at the police party that attempted to evict the Jawahar Park late last evening.
Two bullets hit the SHO, who was declared dead on arrival by doctors at Niyati Hospital while SP (City), who was placed on ventilator support at a private hospital, succumbed to bullet injuries later.
Over 100 people, including City Magistrate Ram Araj Yadav, were also injured in the clash that lasted for almost four hours.
The encroachers, who described themselves as ‘Satyagrahis’, were reportedly from a semi-religious sect.
ADG (Law and Order) Daljeet Singh Chaudhary told the media that the protesters opened fire and also lobbed grenades on the cops.
“Country-made guns, rifles, pistols and cartridges were recovered from the spot. The search operation is underway. It was an unlawful assembly and they had explosives, including grenades and pistols, which they used to fire upon the police,” he said, adding that strict action would be initiated against the guilty.
Uttar Pradesh’s Director General of Police (DGP) Javed Ahmed said that there was unprovoked firing from the members of an offshoot of the Jai Gurudev sect.
Calling the situation ‘tense’, Ahmed said reinforcements, including senior police officers, are being sent to the area.
The encroachers, who have been on a protest for two years, demand ‘cancellation of the elections’ of the President and Prime Minister of India. They also want that diesel be sold at Rs. 60 per litre and petrol at Rs. 40 per litre. Besides, they even want the existing currency to be replaced.
As per the police, the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena activists and members of another smaller organisation had been staging demonstrations at the Jawahar Bagh for the last two-and-a-half years.
“We demand all records relating to the ‘Ruler of the Nation’, law and order, and also the document of citizenship (which shows how we are citizens of the nation) to be made public,” states the other demands posted on their Facebook page.
The Uttar Pradesh Government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 20 lakh each for the families of the martyred policemen.