MATHURA, June 3 - Altogether 24 people, including an SP and an SHO, have been killed in yesterday�s massive clash between police and members of a sect who had encroached on government land here, even as tension prevailed in the area with police seizing a large cache of munition from the site and arresting 320 people.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered a probe by the Divisional Commissioner of Mathura into the violence at Jawahar Bagh where nearly 3,000 people had illegally set up camp on an over 260-acre plot since last two years.
The Centre sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh Government on the incident, while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Yadav and assured the State Government of all necessary help.
According to State Director General of Police Javed Ahmed, there was �unprovoked� firing by encroachers who pelted stones and attacked the policemen with lathis as they arrived at the site for a recce to carry out the eviction, leading to the death of Superintendent of Police, City, Mukul Dwivedi and Station House officer, Farah, Santosh Yadav.
�The police teams reorganised themselves. After two shelters were vacated, the protesters set afire gas cylinders and munition stored there which led to several explosions. 22 rioters were killed in the violence. These include 11 persons who were killed in a fire started by the agitators,� he said. The deceased also included a woman. 23 police personnel have been hospitalised and many among them have suffered bullet injuries.
The encroachers, who were protesting under the banner of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, were being evicted on the directions of the Allahabad High Court. They were believed to be members of splinter group of Baba Jaigurudev sect that had occupied the land 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 40 litres for one rupee.
�Ram Vriksh Yadav, Chandan Bose, Girish Yadav and Rakesh Gupta are the main culprits and leaders of this group and if alive they will be caught by the police,� the DGP said. � PTI