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Revealed: The cult behind the Mathura violence

By The Rediff News Bureau
Last updated on: June 03, 2016 19:05 IST
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Details on the Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah aka Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena, the outfit responsible for the violence that claimed 24 lives in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, including that of two police officials, are slowly emerging.

On January 11, 2014, thousands of activists of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satygrahi -- splinter group of followers of spiritual guru Baba Jai Gurudev who passed away in 2012 -- illegally occupied hundreds of acres of government land at Jawahar Park in Mathura on the pretext of holding a protest.

The encroachers burnt down nearly 2,400 trees at the park, which comes under the horticulture department of the state government, to facilitate their stay. They continued to stay there illegally for two years, though they had permission to just hold a two-day protest.

After a year, based on a petition by a Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, the Allahabad High Court on May 20, 2015 directed the principal secretary (home), district magistrate of Mathura and senior superintendent of police to take "all necessary steps and precautions" to ensure that a public park is "not allowed to be encroached upon in this manner".

In April 2016, a 48-hour ultimatum was issued by the district administration asking the encroachers to vacate the land. But, the impasse continued till the police force moved in June 2 to remove the encroachers.

Why did the local administration and police take a year to execute the court direction remains a mystery.

What was the group demanding?

Most of the demands of this outfit were outright ridiculous. Here’s a list:

* Petrol and diesel prices be made Rs 1 a litre

* Golden coins be brought back into circulation.

* The rule book of Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army be treated as law and used for governance.

* Currency notes used by Azad Hind Fauj (INA) be brought back into circulation

* Ban non-vegetarian food and punish those who eat such stuff

* The park they had encroached upon be handed over to them.

The Baba Jai Gurudev link

Ram Vriksha Yadav, the alleged leader of the outfit who is absconding since his supporters clashed with the police on June 2, was a disciple of Mathura-based Baba Jai Gurudev.

According to media reports, late prime minister Indira Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, former chief ministers Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Rajnath Singh, former governor Romesh Bhandari and UP PWD minister Shivpal Yadav were among Gurudev's disciples.

"To me he was like God. Whatever I am today it is only due to blessings of Baba Jai Gurudev," said Shivpal Singh when the spiritual leader passed away in 2012.

After Gurudev's demise, a three-way battle erupted for claim to the late spitual leader's Rs 12,000 crore empire. Ram Vriksha reportedly tried to forcefully claim the inheritance of the trust, but lost out to one Pankaj Yadav. The third claimant was Umakant Tiwari.

Ram Vriksha then reportedly branched out to create his own outfit, Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satygrahi.

As per an estimate, Gurudev had land worth Rs 4,000 crore. There's a school and a petrol pump in Mathura in the name of the Jai Gurudev Trust. The Baba's fleet of luxury cars included Plymouths, Mercedes Benz, Skodas and BMWs.

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