A huge political controversy has erupted in Uttar Pradesh after 26 people were killed and hundreds were arrested in Mathura, where violence broke when the police tried to dismiss the illegal occupants, members of the’ Netaji sect’, in a land owned by the government.
26 people including a Superintendent of Police and a Station House Officer and 22 illegal occupants were killed on June 2, 2016, during a conflict between the police and the sect members in Mathura, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh (North).
The ‘Netaji’ sect and its conspiracy theory
More than two years ago, thousands of people who are believed to be the members of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi or the ‘Netaji’ sect and members of Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena group, had encroached the 270 acre Jawaharbagh park in Mathura. Since then, they have been protesting there with a primary ambition to take charge of the government-owned land and create a land of their own.
The ‘Netaji’ sect members say they are the ‘true followers’ of Subhash Chandra Bose (1897-1945), affectionately called ‘Netaji’. They pretend there was a conspiracy leading to the disappearance of Bose, one of the most prominent leaders of Indian freedom struggle. Some of the group members even pretend that Bose is still alive.
The members of the second group involved in the violence, Swadheen Bharat, are followers of a ‘Jai Gurudev’ and make similar claims.
The ‘Netaji’ group has been making demands like removal of the Indian President and the Prime minister rule and discontinuation of the Indian rupee to be replaced by the ‘Azad Hind Fauj currency’. Along with this, they demand petrol and diesel to be sold at INR 1, which are currently being sold to the public at a rate of INR 40 per litre and INR 60 per litre respectively.
Violence took over the place when an over 1000 members police force tried to evict the illegal inhabitants from the government owned land on the orders of the Allahabad high court.
The Uttar Pradesh police arrested around 360 people in charge of the violence in Mathura and also recovered 58 weapons and 184 used and live cartridges from the area.
A political row in Uttar Pradesh
Mayawati, member of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said that the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh should resign taking responsibility for the unfortunate and painful incident and demanded a time-bound judicial inquiry in to the matter.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and also claimed that the incident reflected lawlessness in the state.
“Mathura incident is entirely because of intelligence failure. Timely assessment was not done as to how many people were present at the spot and what fire arms they possessed. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav cannot escape moral responsibility,” state BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged that the main conspirator in the case has full protection of the Samajwadi Party.
Facing heavy criticism about the handling of the situation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav replied that “Police should have gone to evict the encroachers with much better preparedness.” Adding to his statement he said that he did not anticipate that the members of the sect who attacked the police would be so well armed.