New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday ordered a commissioner-level inquiry into the violence in Mathura, which claimed 24 lives including of two police officers, even as the BJP said the violence showed “complete breakdown of administration and law and order” in the state and demanded a CBI probe.
The Centre has also sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday’s violence in Mathura, over 160 km from the national capital.
“This is a serious matter and will be investigated at Commissioner level. All those found guilty will be brought to justice,” Akhilesh Yadav told reporters.
Twenty-four people were killed in the clash between police and encroachers during an anti-encroachment drive on Thursday in Jawahar bagh in Mathura. The killed includes Superintendent of Police Mukul Dwivedi. Twenty-three policemen are injured, including some seriously.
While 250 people have been detained for their involvement in the clash, the city continues to be tense even as heavy police reinforcement has been deployed.
The Chief Minister also accepted that there was lapse in the handling of the matter.
“Many attempts were made to hold discussions (with the encroachers), warnings were issued, but they still didn’t evacuate the land. There has been a lapse as well. The mistake was the police went without full preparation. There was so much danger involved. No one knew how many explosives were inside,” he said.
Earlier, Yadav tweeted, “Uttar Pradesh government will ensure the strictest action under law against the perpetrators in the Mathura incident, speedy prosecution of the accused.” He also promised to support the families of the killed police officers.
The Chief Minister also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 20 lakh each for the families of the two police officers. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in Mathura and assured all help to the state government.
“Spoke to UP CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav and reviewed the situation in Mathura. I have also assured him of all possible help from the Centre,” tweeted Singh.
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident and maintained that without political protection the people could not have stored large quantities of arms and illumination.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra stated, “There is a complete breakdown of administration and law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. Mathura is not a small city. It is a centre of the region and such a hoard of ammunition and weaponry was getting piled up there. How did the local administration miss that? How can such error happen?”
BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma, who rushed to Mathura on the directions of party President Amit Shah faulted the Akhilesh Yadav government for letting the situation get out of control.
“It was the Samajwadi Party goons who encroached on the Jawaharbagh area some three years back and police was not given the freedom to act. It’s a matter of sheer negligence,” Sharma said.
“We demand a CBI inquiry into the matter,” he told a press conference at Mathura. Earlier, while talking to IANS Sharma had demanded judicial probe into the matter.
Sharma, who also belongs to Mathura, said that over 900 such incidents had happened where police had been targetted ever since the Akhilesh Yadav government came to power in Uttar Pradesh.
“It was not for the first time that such an incident has happened. Earlier, similar incidents had been reported from Azamgarh and Pratapgarh,” he said, adding that there is ‘Mahajungle Raj’ (misgovernance) in Uttar Pradesh where goons do not hesitate in firing at policemen.
Hema Malini, the local MP, also favoured a CBI inquiry into the incident.