Mathura: It was an attempt by the police to evict members of the Ram Vriksha Yadav-led Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena, a Bose cult, from the sprawling Jawahar Bagh in the heart of Mathura that led to the death of 29 people in bloody clashes on June 2.
But days after the much-fought-for land has been freed from the clutches of the violent gang, revenue records of the prime 260-acre park are nowhere to be found. The papers, needed to prove the government’s ownership of it, have gone missing. Neither the tehsil nor the Agra Commissionerate, or for that matter the revenue board’s office in Lucknow have it. Additional district magistrate (Mathura) AK Awasthi confirmed to TOI that the documents are indeed lost.
Talking to TOI on Friday, Awasthi said the files have been “missing for a number of years”. But he claimed that the horticulture department has “some documents” relating to the ‘khasra’ (land and crop details) that are enough to prove that the government is its owner. However, he refused to share details of the documents. Sources on the other hand told TOI that the horticulture and revenue departments have no legal documents that would “clearly” prove that the government owns Jawahar Bagh. .
Former president of Mathura Bar Association, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, who had filed a PIL in the high court seeking eviction of the Subhash Sena activists from the park also confirmed that the revenue records of Jawahar Bagh are missing. He said, “Nothing is available with the government”.
Tomar added that Sena leader Yadav was “well aware” of this fact and was trying to get a lease for Jawahar Bagh from the government. “Ram Vriksha Yadav had approached me to withdraw the PIL as it was delaying the process of lease allotment to him,” he said. “Yadav clearly told me that the ‘patta’ (land ownership document) of Jawahar Bagh was going to be issued in his name. He said there was a big conspiracy going on to grab this valued piece of government land.”
Yadav’s lawyer Tarani Gautam also claimed no revenue records of Jawahar Bagh are there with the government.
It’s quite common for revenue records of the government and other disputed properties to vanish in thin air in UP. Officials blame “land mafias” who have political and official patronage for it, as land grabbing is a thriving business in the state.
Sources told TOI that besides Jawahar Bagh, records of several other government properties in Mathura’s civil lines are also missing.