Twenty-three cops brutally harmed in Mathura clashes, says Uttar Pradesh DGP

Twenty-two protesters died and 23 policemen were injured after the Jawahar Bagh protest against government's anti-encroachment drive in Mathura turned violent, Uttar Pradesh DGP Javed Ahmed told reporters at a press conference on Friday. Eleven of the 22 died in the fire which they started, he said.

One hundred and twenty-four people have been arrested so far and 196 other people have been arrested under Section 153 offence, Javed said.

 Twenty-three cops brutally harmed in Mathura clashes, says Uttar Pradesh DGP

Representational image. AFP

Javed added that 47 locally made katta pistols, six rifles and 178 live cartridges were seized from the spot.

Meanwhile, Times Now reported that the death toll has gone up to 24.

According to Firstpost, Superintendent of Police of Mathura along with five other policemen were injured on Thursday as violence erupted during an operation to clear hundreds of acres of government land from the activists of a religious group 'Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi'.

Police used teargas to deal with the violent agitators in the Jawahar Bagh area where the clashes continued even on Friday.

The injured policemen included SP (City) of Mathura and SHO of the local police station, police sources said.

Unconfirmed reports said the SHO had died in the clash, but there was no official announcement.

Over two years back, the 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.'

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced compensation of Rs 20 lakh each for the families of the two officers.

Many senior state-level officials reached Mathura to take stock of the situation on Friday.

Divisional Commissioner Pradip Bhatnagar, after a visit to Mathura, said firm action will follow and nobody found involved in the violence would be spared.

The encroachers who call themselves "satyagrahis" have dispersed and the disputed Jawahar Bagh area, spread over 280 acres, is now under police control.

While 12 companies of the PAC were already stationed in the city, three more were rushed to the district on Thursday night.

Members of the Braj Bachao Samiti have demanded a CBI inquiry monitored by a Supreme Court judge to expose the conspiracy behind the events climaxing in the confrontation between the police and the protesters.

"The babas have been building empires in Mathura-Vrindavan and are engaged in all kinds of shady land deals. Their connections with politicians are well known. Some have been patronised by the politicians of the ruling party in the state," Samiti President Manoj Choudhary told IANS.

Civil society members in Mathura said it was clearly an intelligence failure.

"How these people manage to smuggle in arms in such huge quantities needs to be investigated. Some of them were trained in guerrilla tactics and had built shelters in the tress from where they began an all out assault on the police," activist Girdhari Lal said.

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Updated Date: Jun 03, 2016 16:07:37 IST