Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah, the cult behind the violence that led to 29 confirmed deaths in clashes that erupted after an attempted eviction drive in Jawahar Bagh in Mathura on Thursday, also reportedly gave arms training to children.
The sect virtually ran a republic in the 260-acre park in Jawahar Bagh area since late 2014, with the site almost entirely closed off to the outside world. According to senior police officials and reports by PTI, the cult had been running a parallel judicial system and had its own constitution, jails and several "battalions" of soldiers.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the police recovered 47 country-made pistols, six rifles, 178 live cartridges, 15 four wheelers and 6 two-wheelers were recovered from the site of the clashes. However, the source of the arms and ammunition is yet to be ascertained.
"Children as young as eight years old were being given training in arms," senior police officer DC Mishra told AFP news agency.
Nine children, who were living in the illegal colony, were sent to a children's home in the city yesterday. The children recounted the horror of the night of violence in an interview with NDTV.
"We hid behind the trees. Bombs were being thrown around, stones hurled, bullets fired everywhere," said nine year old Abhinav (name changed). He added that they were taken to Govind Nagar jail in Mathura before being brought to the children's home.
Abhinav said his siblings, 8 and 12 years of age, as well as his mother, were still in jail. However, police said that all children who were rounded up during the violence have been sent to various children's homes in Mathura and Agra.
Another child, who was brought to Jawahar Bagh by his aunt, said that she was asked to move to the area by sect leader Ram Vriksh Yadav.
"She brought me here because there's a Netaji called Ram Vriksh Yadav. She said he'll free Bharat. He will come and give us all a gold coin and that is the only currency that will work in India," said nine year old Sanket (name changed).
According to a report in the Mint, senior superintendent of police Rakesh Singh said 45 cases have been registered against the encroachers and 3,000 persons have been made the accused.
Yadav, whose death was confirmed via twitter by UP DGP Javeed Ahmed is said to have orchestrated the violence.
He had eight cases against him including those of murder and land-grabbing. Claiming to be political and social revolutionaries and followers of Subhash Chandra Bose, his group demanded abolition of elections and cheaper fuel for everyone.
According to another report, over 50 BJP workers were booked today under section IPC 143 (gathering unlawfully) to protest at Malviya Chowk. During the protest, they had burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and raised anti-government slogans charging it with being responsible for the Mathura incident.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government today raised compensation amount to the next of kin of two slain police officers in the Mathura clash from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also announced special pension to the families of two martyred policemen and job to one member from each family, according to a news18 report.