Mathura violence: Police killed in unprovoked' firing; over 320 arrested

The death toll has climbed to 24 and several police personnel are still battling for their lives in hospital.

Mathura: 24 people, including an SP and an SHO, have been killed in Thursday's violent clash between police and members of a sect who had encroached on government land in Mathura. Tension continued to prevail in the area with police seizing a large cache of munition from the site and arresting 320 people.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered a probe by the divisional commissioner of Mathura into the violence at Jawahar Bagh where nearly 3,000 people had illegally set up camp on an over 260-acre plot since last two years.

A fire break out after clashes between the police and the encroachers who were being evicted from Jawaharbagh in Mathura. (Photo: PTI)A fire break out after clashes between the police and the encroachers who were being evicted from Jawaharbagh in Mathura. (Photo: PTI)

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The Centre sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Yadav and assured the state government of all necessary help.

According to state Director General of Police Javed Ahmed, there was "unprovoked" firing by encroachers who pelted stones and attacked the policemen with lathis as they arrived at the site for a recce to carry out the eviction, leading to the death of Superintendent of Police, City, Mukul Dwivedi and Station House officer, Farah, Santosh Yadav.

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"The police teams reorganised themselves. After two shelters were vacated, the protesters set afire gas cylinders and munition stored there which led to several explosions.

"22 rioters were killed in the violence. These include 11 persons who were killed in a fire started by the agitators," he said. The deceased also included a woman.

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"Our two young officers laid down their lives while protecting the law and with a heavy heart we bid adieu to them," the DGP told reporters after paying tributes to the slain officers.

He said 23 police personnel have been hospitalised and many among them have suffered bullet injuries.

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"We have recovered 47 guns, six rifles and 178 hand grenades from the area," he said, adding "124 people have been arrested for creating disturbances. Another 196, including 116 women, have been arrested under 151 CrPC," he said.

Section 151 CrPC deals with preventive arrests.

( Source : PTI )
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