Two weeks before the gunfight between members Swadheen Bharat Subash Sena and Uttar Pradesh police, a local intelligence unit had sent out information about heavy arms movement inside the 270 acre Jawaharbagh which had been occupied by the cult since early 2014. The counter action to this crucial information has resulted in killings of 29, but the history behind this violent confrontation indicate that the day had been in the offering for over two years now.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After struggling for the requisition of necessary forces required to evict the occupiers, whose numbers are said to be anywhere between 2,500 to 4,000, UP Police had finally drafted a plan and named it ‘Operation Jawaharbagh’. But as the past had proven time and again, followers of SBSS, a cult owing allegiance to a godman as well as Indian Freedom Fighter Subash Chandra Bose, would not have surrendered without putting up a fight.”We had received information around two weeks ago by our informers that there had been an upsurge of arms movement within Jawaharbagh. Authorities already had a court order to evict them but such situations are extremely dangerous to handle so we wanted to ensure that all precautions are taken before the eviction drive,” said AK Singh, Superintendent of Police, Mathura (Rural).However as per officials the actual eviction was to take place on Friday instead of Thursday which was chosen as a day for a ‘rehearsal’. While many have said that rehearsal before an eviction drive is unheard of, local police officials, who were a part of the operation told dna some senior officers by conducting a rehearsal were actually hoping to scare away SBSS.”The police, the district magistrate, horticulture officials, all of them had been beaten up and chased away multiple times by SBSS or satyagrahi’s. But this time around something was different. Both police and the satyagrahi’s knew this,” said advocate Vijay Pal Singh Tomar whose petition in the Allahabad High Court had put light on the 270 acre occupied plot last year.Officials speaking to dna sought anonymity before speaking about the build up to the gunfight with SBSS since 2014 when they had sought to stay in the plot for a mere two days before heading to Delhi for a protest march.”The leader of the cult, Ram Vriskh Yadav, was a rebel amongst followers of Baba Gurudev whose ashrams are spread across UP. A fight for succession ensued between warring factions when Gurudev died and Ram Vriskh was ousted. Henceforth he schemed to occupy this plot and built a private army,” said one official.Many in the police force believe that once the Jawaharbagh plot was occupied, a compromise was reached between Ram Vriskh and his biggest rival Pankaj Yadav who considered himself the worthy successor of Baba Gurudev. This compromise was allegedly made possible by senior Samajwadi party leaders to avoid a possible violent confrontation. But soon things derailed when followers of Ram Vriksh began to assert themselves in areas around the plot.PTISeeing the alleged harassment of locals, a petition was filed. The same month, court asked the police to evict but action could not be taken as police cited lack of force owing to panchayat elections in different parts of Mathura. Meanwhile situation in the Police Lines area went from bad to worse. After being pulled up by the court in January, police wrote to the UP Home Secretary and asked 1800 constables, 200 female constable, 10 companies of Rapid Action Force and two companies of female RAF. Yet on the day of the rehearsal only 4-5 battalions, went into Jawaharbagh. This, apparently after the green signal to evict the SBSS came from the senior most of the Samajwadi Party government.”Everything is silent now but before they would sing songs, marches were being held, arms training was being given and they had even started a parallel market where they would sell food at much lower cost, said one local resident. She also added as a desperate measure, the SBSS had been announcing a massive discount on mangoes and sugar so that they would get more locals inside which could have deterred the cops. It didn’t. Loudspeakers were blaring from inside for action. Women were asking the men to defend their position. Men took position on trees and on rooftops and began firing soon after we broke a part of the boundary wall to make space for waters pipes of fire tenders. There first line of action was men with lathis who injured several cops but once the action had started they knew that we won’t stop. They fired and so did we,” said a senior police officer.
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