On Sunday afternoon, Mintoo Singh, a youth in his early twenties, lay on a bed in Mathura’s district hospital as local cops made rounds. A bullet had pierced through his left cheek leaving a deep wide wound that had begun to infect his jaw and tongue.With half of his face numb, Singh pleaded for help. “The doctors here told police that I need to be taken to Agra but they left me here. I have a bullet wound on my face and I have been begging them to take me for treatment but no one listens. They (police) are telling me that I was the one who fired at them but I did no such thing,” said Mintoo.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly city, Mintoo said that he had arrived at Jawaharbagh in March 2016 and continued to stay there against his will till the day of the police encounter, now being referred to as Operation Jawaharbagh.”My family members were followers of Baba Gurudev and I had come to pay my respects. Every time I wanted to go back, the men there would ask me to stay for a few more days,” said Mintoo adding that he had no intention to fight the police.”On the day of the firing, some men with guns distributed lathis. I didn’t want to fight anyone, so I was roaming around clueless. That’s when police rained fire. I got hit and fell to the ground. Some time later I was brought here and have been laying on this bed,” Mintoo said. “I will die if I don’t get treatment,” he added.His is not the only case that shows the brutal aftermath of a three-hour-long gunfight that took place between followers of Swadheen Bharat Subash Sena and UP police earlier this week.In another ward was Ram Sampat, also in his early twenties.”There were men with guns who told us to be at the front-lines soon after the first fires were shot. We were told to stand guard with lathis and attack anyone who tried to enter. But after seeing the magnitude of the police force, we ran for cover. Police were firing tear gas and we could barely see what was happening. I was grabbed by some policemen who beat me up and other youth before admitting us here (district hospital),” said Sampat, before a constable intervened and asked this reporter to leave.While those who survived the bloody gunfight – that claimed the lives of 27, including that of two police officers – maintain that they were innocent and were forced to be in Jawaharbagh against their will, the fate of the ones killed inside the 270-acre plot is far more horrid.dna, while visiting the local mortuary, witnessed the charred and decaying bodies of those who died during a fire that police claim was set by followers of the Netaji cult.At the mortuary, which is hardly a kilometre away from site of gunfight, a total of 18 bodies were brought the day after the encounter took place. Only one, leader of the Subash Sena, Ram Vriksh Yadav, has been identified by a former aide of his. The rest await postmortem in a facility which is far from possessing necessary equipment to preserve the bodies.On Sunday, when dna visited the morgue, the bodies were kept in a room with huge blocks of ice on them while blood and puss seeped out of the room attracting flies. So strong was the smell emanating from the charred corpses, that people on the street, many feet away, had to use handkerchief to cover their noses.”I don’t think anyone will come forward to identify them. They might have been living with their families in Jawaharbagh, who are now being hunted down. Who will come to claim these men,” said Shyam, a staffer at the morgue.


Mathura clashes: Survivors of crossfire claim they are innocent, forced to participate in violence