Seven followers of Ram Vriksh Yadav — deceased chief of the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena which was responsible for a break out of violence in Mathura, leading to 29 deaths— have taken shelter in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district.
According to reports, Yadav’s followers, which include a 12-year-old girl from Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, have taken sanctuary in Devri village, 20 km from Maihar town in Satna, where two of their group —Chandrabhan Singh and his son Rajkishor — live.
Five of the followers were able to escape the violence in Mathura relatively unscathed, with only 12-year-old Nandini sustaining injuries. According to the police, they met Chandrabhan and Rajkishor, who themselves had escaped the clashes, at the Mathura railway station and boarded a train to Satna, with Chandrabhan promising that Nadini would get proper treatment there.
While Chandrabhan had been with Yadav for the past two years, his son Rajkishor had joined the cult just a month back, Satna’s Kolgawan police station in-charge Indresh Tripathi said. He said three injured people — Nandini, Chandrabhan and Rajkishor — were treated at a local hospital in Satna on June 4 and 5 for pellet wounds and they were all discharged on Monday.
“A UP police team has also recorded their statements and they have been asked to not move from their present location without informing the police,” Tripathi said.
Interestingly, none of them are willing to concede that they were responsible for the break out of violence in Mathura, blaming the authorities for the clashes and the deaths that followed.
“We were performing a satyagraha, pressing the government for the death certificate of Jai Gurudev (a godman that Yadav considered himself a disciple of) to prove that he was dead. We were agitating on the land after taking permission from the Uttar Pradesh government and in no way had encroached on the land,” Chandrabhan said.
He said members of his group were only carrying lathis and jhanda (sticks and flags) and the guns recovered from their camps were planted there by the UP police to frame them.
“None of the agitators opened fire that killed the cops. In fact, the police set our tents ablaze,” he said.