The Allahabad high court on Thursday asked the CBI to probe last year’s violence in Mathura that had left 28 people including Ram Vriksha Yadav, the leader of an obscure revolutionary cult, dead in the city’s Jawahar Bagh .
The then Mathura superintendent of police Mukul Dwivedi was among two police officers who were also killed when security forces launched an operation in the public park to evict thousands of squatters on June 2, 2016.
A high court bench of chief justice DB Bhosale and justice Yashwant Varma also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to form a special team to investigate the case that had propelled the self-styled Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah – and its armed wing Subhash Sena – into the spotlight.
The court passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Mathura resident Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and others. The court had reserved its judgment in the case on February 20.
The petitioners alleged that since a state cabinet minister and an MP of the ruling party were allegedly involved in the case, the matter should be handed over to the CBI for a fair probe.
The petitioner had alleged that there was a deeper conspiracy behind the incident as reflected in the fact that Jawahar Bagh, where demonstrations are not allowed, was given to Ram Vriksha Yadav for holding a satyagrah in 2014.
The sect members had taken over the park gradually since 2014, turning it into a self-sufficient residential colony which had its own vegetable gardens and grocery shops. The sect even has its own tractors to ferry rice and other goods for the families.
Most of the families in the park were from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
The incident had sparked a political blame game with the opposition attacking the government for a massive intelligence failure. The BJP had demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
The self-styled organisation had a slew of bizarre demands including abolition of elections and the Indian rupee.