Guv orders closure of judicial probe into Jawahar Bagh violence

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Guv orders closure of judicial probe into Jawahar Bagh violence

Lucknow, Apr 12 (PTI) With CBI taking up the probe into Jawahar Bagh park violence in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik today ordered closure of the judicial inquiry into the incident which had claimed 29 lives, including two police officials, last year during an anti-encroachment drive.

“The Governor is of the opinion that continuance of the judicial inquiry is of no use,” Principal Secretary (Home) Devashis Panda said in a notification here.

He said the judicial panel headed by Justice (Retd) Mirza Imtiaz Murtaza of the Allahabad High Court will submit in a sealed envelope its findings till April 1 to the government and return all facilities extended to it by April 20.

The Allahabad High Court had last month directed the CBI to probe the incident, following which the investigating agency registered a case.

The erstwhile Samajwadi Party government had remained opposed to a CBI inquiry into the matter, pointing out that it had set up a commission of inquiry comprising a retired judge of the High Court.

Members of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi cult, led by Ram Vriksh Yadav, had encroached on the 270-acre Jawahar Bagh, which was government land, for two years and clashed with police when they tried to evict them in June last year.

Ram Vriksh Yadav too was killed in the encounter.

The Uttar Pradesh government had, in January 2014, granted permission to Yadav’s organisation to hold a demonstration inside Jawahar Bagh for two days.

However, members of the group went on to occupy the sprawling public park for more than two years.

Following a High Court order, the squatters were evicted from the park amid large-scale violence.

A huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives were recovered from the huts that had been erected inside the park during the period of illegal occupation.

There were reports that the park had been converted into a “quasi republic” with its own currency and penal system and people staying there had been issued ration cards and cooking gas cylinders with Jawahar Bagh as the address.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.