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A leader who spoke of peace but followed the path of violence

nation Updated: Jun 04, 2016 08:25 IST

VARANASI: Ram Vriksha Yadav, the alleged mastermind behind the Mathura violence, belongs to Matia Basti (mohalla) of Raipur Baghpur village in Ghazipur.

Associated with the Doordarshi party floated by spiritual leader Baba Jai Gurudev in 1980 in Ahmedabad, Yadav left his village two years ago to settle in Mathura.

Believed to be a short-tempered man, Yadav had contested the general elections as the Doordarshi party candidate from Ghazipur parliamentary constituency around two decades ago. He had also contested assembly elections on the party ticket. “Around 25 years ago, Yadav, then a follower of Baba Jai Gurudev, used to don kurta pyjama made of sackmaterial as per the directives of the spiritual leader to his followers,” said a local.

Sometime in the mid-nineties, he said, Baba Jai Gurudev received a complaint against Yadav and six others about their alleged aggressive behaviour. Upset, he severed ties with Yadav a few years before his death in 2012.

Raipur Baghpur village head Shivnarayan said, “Yadav was involved in farming when he was in the village. He usually talked less. I have no idea about the kind of activities he was involved in there. He has two sons and two daughters.”

Another local said, “It is really disturbing to learn about his involvement in such an incident. He often used to talk about peace. ”

The clashes in Mathura, said to be led by Yadav, took place when police tried to evict around 3,000 encroachers from a park in Mathura late on Thursday.

For two years, about 280 acres of the park have been occupied by members of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi.

According to sources, the outfit was formed in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar, where Yadav and his followers met in 2014. Later, while moving towards Delhi, they stopped at Mathura and sought permission for a dharna to press for their demands. They occupied a big area of a park in Mathura the same year.

First Published: Jun 04, 2016 08:25 IST