Mathura clash toll goes up to 29, Aligarh commissioner begins probe
Death toll from the clashes in Mathura between encroachers of Jawahar Bagh and the police rose to 29 on Sunday, with two more people succumbing to injuries.
The Aligarh Divisional Commissioner launched a probe into the incident.
Mathura Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Singh said 45 cases have been registered against 3000 encroachers belonging to Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi--an outfit that claims to owe allegiance to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
An unidentified encroacher died during treatment in the district hospital here and one Pinkoo, a resident of Azamgarh, succumbed to his injuries in SN Medical College in Agra, taking the death toll to 29, Chief Medical Officer Vivek Mishra said.
Aligarh Divisional Commissioner Chandra Kant, meanwhile, launched a probe to ascertain the circumstances leading to the incident, which has left the Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh red-faced and invited sharp criticism from the opposition.
Kant, who said he would delve into the reasons for the incident and ascertain the likely lapses, said he would submit his report to the government within a fortnight.
The Divisional Commissioner, who met top district officials including DM Rajesh Kumar, SSP Rakesh Singh and other top officials, as part of the “recommendatory probe,” said he would visit Jawahar Bagh, the scene of violent clashes which also left two police officers, including a superintendent of police, dead, to record the statements of eyewitnesses and others.
“Why the incident took place, whether it was properly tackled, shortcomings in operation Jawahar Bagh, what was the level of shortcomings, whether firing orders were given late...any other points will be looked into,” Kant said.
Combing operations are underway to look for explosives and hidden weapons and would continue on Monday, SSP Rakesh Singh said, adding some more arrests were likely to track down people who provided financial support and firearms to Ram Vriksha Yadav, the cult leader, who was among those dead in the clashes. His body was found among 11 charred to death in the fire that was caused by gas cylinder explosions set off by the squatters who were occupying the public park for the last two years.
If relatives do not come forward to claim the bodies their postmortem would be carried out at 11 AM on Monday following which their last rites would be conducted, he said.