Mathura: As embers of razed dwellings smouldered and police fished out burnt bodies, what comes as a shocker was the recovery of a a huge cache of arms from the 270-acre Jawahar Bagh, which had been illegally encroached upon for the past two years.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Javeed Ahmed Ahmed said 47 countrymade pistols, 184 cartridges and 178 hand grenades were recovered from the park.
Reports claim that ever since they settled at Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh in 2014, the Swadheen Bharat Sena had been preparing for battle, piling up ammunition and crude bombs; right under the nose of the district administration.
Incidentally, on one side of Jawahar Bagh is the office of the Mathura Superintendent of Police and on the other, the Tehsil office. Moreover offices of the district magistrate, the Mathura district court, the police control room, the reserve police line and Mathura Jail are not too far away from the Jawahar Bagh area.
The head of the cult, believed to be godman named, Jai Gurudev sat over a huge estate of land and money estimated at Rs 12,000 crores. He had reportedly floated a political party called Doordarshi Party which could not flourish and finally got lost in a bunch of other parties. The godman then started focusing on spiritual activities that brought him fame and wealth. He is said to have died in 2012.
Farmers had filed repeated complaints with the district magistrate about lands being forcefully taken over by the ashram. The Uttar Pradesh Industrial body (UPSIDC) had also filed cases regarding the land encroachment. The Archaeological Survey of India claimed that followers of the sect had damaged historical monuments.
Reports on Mathura eviction:
According to the reports, to conduct the eviction of 3000 armed people, only 60 policemen were deployed which; the district administration claims was planned for over a month by the police. Notably, more than 23 notices were served to Swadheen Bharat Sena to evacuate the land. In the last 15 days alone, three operations were carried out to recce the Jawahar Bagh area.
For the last two years, neither the local intelligence units nor the police were able to enter the Jawahar Bagh area. The agencies were unable to track details about SBSS leaders, including their chief Ram Vriksha Yadav.
Intelligence reports also claim that food grains were brought in trucks from Madhya Pradesh. They said that over 2,000 Sena members had built concrete structures inside, and experts were called from other states to prepare country-made pistols and bombs.
Former DGP Jain has described the whole eviction drive as an “ill-conceived operation”.