New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday dismissed BJP's charge that there was political pressure on police to not evict encroachers from Mathura's Jawahar Bagh and said the recent violence there was the result of the failure of local authorities.
In a report to the Centre, the state government has said last Thursday's clashes between the police and squatters belonging to a cult – Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi – an outfit that claimed to owe allegiance to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, at the public park was the result of the failure of the local police to assess the situation.
The report said the police was forced to act before they had made adequate preparations following an attack by the cult members. According to reports, a police contingent led by Superintendent of Police Mukul Dwivedi had gone to Jawahar Bagh on 2 June for a recce when it came under attack. In the clashes that ensued 29 people, including Dwivedi and the SHO of the local police station Santosh Kumar were killed. Cult leader Ram Vriksh Yadav was also killed.
The Uttar Pradesh government was also probing whether the members of cult had any links with Maoists as a large number of weapons were found from the spot. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had said on Friday that there were "some lapses" on the part of the police in Mathura during the anti-encroachment drive and that there was no information that protesters had so much of weapons and ammunitions with them.
"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," Akhilesh had said. So far, 45 cases have been registered against 3,000 encroachers belonging to a cult.
BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had targeted the state's Samajwadi Party government over the incident, with the former even accusing Shivpal Yadav, a state minister and younger brother of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav of patronising the cult.
Rajnath Singh had suggested the state government to recommend a CBI probe into the incident. "There is more to it than meets the eye. What does not meet the eye needs to be revealed. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, you should write to the Centre seeking a CBI probe. If UP government recommends a CBI probe we will surely accept it. It is not an ordinary incident," Singh had told a rally in Amroha on Sunday.