The BJP alleged on Sunday that the Uttar Pradesh government was removing vital proof from the violence-hit Jawahar Bagh in Mathura after a party delegation was barred from entering the park where clashes broke out last week.
Authorities stopped Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti outside Jawahar Bagh, prompting the Hindu leader to allege that the Samajwadi Party was complicit in the violence.
“The way our delegation was stopped indicates that the administration had the intention to remove the evidences that might have gone against them,” said Meerut MP Rajendra Agarwal.
But police said they barred entry to the park due to a search operation to weed out possible land mines and explosives, adding that they found a bomb making unit inside the premises. “We found 5 kg of potassium, 3kg of gun powder and 1 kg of potash besides electronic plates and iron pellets used in country-made bombs,” said Mathura SSP Rakesh Singh. Security forces clashed with squatters who were illegally occupying the park for over two years and the ensuing rioting left many dead.
The encroachers belonged to Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah, a self-styled revolutionary sect whose members called themselves followers of freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. With less than a year to go for the state polls, the violence is an embarrassment for the SP administration and ammunition in the hands of opposition parties such as the BJP, which accused the state government of shielding the criminals.
The saffron party accuses senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav of providing cover to the squatters, who allegedly were provided ration, electricity and allowed to set up shops and grow vegetables.
“The state government is to blame as the local administration apprised the government that all was not well in Jawahar Bagh,” said Agarwal. Jyoti echoed this view, saying the state government took no steps to remove the illegal occupants and didn’t provide enough force to the police, resulting in the deaths. Agarwal said, “The commissioner comes under the state government and with the state government to blame, one cannot expect a fair probe under the commissioner.