Ever heard of a self-styled leader of a cult group getting pension from the government? Well, Ram Vriksh Yadav, allegedly the "mastermind" behind the Mathura mayhem that left 27 people including two police officers dead, was on the payrolls of the Uttar Pradesh government.
The 55-year-old man was getting a pension of Rs. 15,000 per month from the Akhilesh Yadav government under the "Loktantra Rakshak Senani" (democratic freedom fighters), a scheme meant for people arrested during the Emergency under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), according to the Indian Express.
Ram Vriksh Yadav (also Rambriksh Yadav) was allegedly behind the clashes in Mathura's Jawahar Bagh area last Thursday that saw pitched battle between the approximately 3,000 armed protesters claiming to be the followers of Swadeen Subhash Bharat Sena and policemen.
He died when one of the huts in the area caught fire in the wake of clashes that broke out when the police launched an anti-encroachment drive to evict the protesters. Uttar Pradesh Police chief Javeed Ahmed said Ram Vriksh Yadav's body was identified by his followers.
Some of the dead in Mathura operation identified. Rambriksh Yadav's body identified by associates. Family intimated for final confirmation.
— Javeed (@javeeddgpup) June 4, 2016
Yadav was the leader of the cult group, as confirmed by Ashutosh Dwivedi, Mathura SP (City) in-charge.
"Ram Vriksha Yadav was the leader of over 3,000 people who belonged to a cult founded by him, which he named Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi, also known as Swadeen Subhash Bharat Sena. He was one among those who died during the violence on Friday. His body was identified by his supporters on Saturday," Dwivedi was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Yadav hailed from Raipur Baghpur village in Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh and had formed the breakaway faction of Baba Jai Gurudev who died in 2012, NDTV reported. A farmer by profession, the father of four moved to Mathura with his family about three years ago.
"He (Ram Vriksh Yadav) has two sons and two daughters. One son is employed in Gujarat and the other is studying. Of the daughters, one is married and the other was a graduation student when the family left the village," Shiv Narain Yadav, Raipur Bagpur's village Pradhan said, according to another Indian Express report.