Ram Vriksh Yadav, the chief of the violent encroachers in Jawahar Bagh, is among those killed in the clashes, police said today as the toll mounted to 27 with three more persons succumbing to injuries.
Uttar Pradesh DGP Javed Ahmed said on twitter that the body of Yadav and some others have been identified by his associates and his family has been intimated for confirmation.
60-year-old Yadav was the leader of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, an outfit claiming to owe allegiance to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose whose members had encroached on Jawahar Bagh area for two years and clashed with police on Thursday when they tried to evict them.
IG (Law and Order) S R Sharma said Yadav was among the 11 charred to death in the fire that was caused by gas cylinder explosions set off by the encroachers.
The death toll has risen to 27 with three more among the injured encroachers succumbing, IG (Agra) Durga Chandra Mishra said.
Chief Medical Officer Vivek Mishra said several other bodies have not been identified as yet.
The bodies have to be kept for 72 hours in the mortuary, which will end tomorrow evening, and later post mortem will be done, he said. 18 bodies are in Mathura district centre and seven in Agra, he said.
Tight security arrangements remained in place with police preventing BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini, who led a protest by the party, from entering the violence-hit area, citing ongoing probe and combing operation.
Sharma said the situation “is normal in Mathura and the ground has been cleared”.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav raised compensation to the next of kin of the two slain police officers from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh even as opposition stepped up attack on him, questioning why he did not visit Mathura.
Mukul Dwivedi, Superintendent of Police and Santosh Yadav, Station House officer, Farah, were killed in the violence. The Chief Minister also announced extraordinary pension to their families and job to one member.
However, BSP chief Mayawati accused him of not taking the issue seriously and demanded a judicial or CBI inquiry or a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the violence.
Attacking Akhilesh, who is on an official visit to Mahoba in Bundelkhand, she said, “Rather than touring Bundelkhand, he should have been visiting Mathura today.”
BJP president Amit Shah demanded resignation of Cabinet minister and the Chief Minister’s uncle Shivpal Yadav.
“If even a little bit of self-respect is left in netaji (SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav), he should get the resignation of minister Shivpal Yadav immediately,” Shah said.
His attack came against the backdrop of BJP state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya alleging that the attackers were “goons of PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav”.
Congress spokeperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned why the Chief Minister did not visit Mathura.
BJP MP Hema Malini, who is facing flak for sharing pictures of her film shoot as violence erupted in her constituency, also sought to target the Akhilesh Yadav government over the incident, saying it needs to look into the law and order situation.
Hema said police wanted to remove encroachments but were not getting orders from the state government to do so.
“They wanted to do it but they were not getting orders from the state government to remove this. This is state government’s issue. Why they are after me?,” she said.
City Magistrate Ram Araj Yadav said forensic experts were examining the area and nobody has been allowed to enter there till the investigation is completed.
“There was no ulterior motive to bar the MP from entering the area. Combing operations are underway and the area is being examined by police teams and experts,” an official said.
Police said that so far 67 persons have been arrested in connection with the violence and 310 apprehended for breach of peace.