17 dead as Indian police clear sect from occupied park

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Indian police

Indian police

Police in India said no fewer than 17 people, including two policemen, were killed during evacuation at a park occupied by a sect in northern part of the country.

More than 2,000 members of the semi-religious sect had occupied the park in Mathura for more than two years.

The police on Friday in New Delhi said that the park’s occupiers had resisted earlier court eviction orders, adding that the people were on Thursday warned on the latest eviction order by Allahabad High Court.

“Trouble began after some occupants armed with locally made pistols and rifles fired at the police,” local police officer, Arun Kumar, said.

Police initially responded with canes and tear gas “but had to finally open fire in retaliation,” he said, adding that many were injured.

“Additional forces were dispatched to the area as the situation remained tense,’’ Kumar said.

Mathura, 150 kilometres south-east of Delhi, is a prominent Hindu Holy city, home to several temples.

The evicted group was thought to be a faction of a Hindu religious organization that says it follows the 20th-Century freedom fighter, Subhash Chandra Bose.

Its demands include the scrapping of elections, almost free fuel, and replacing the rupee with a currency named after it. (dpa/NAN)

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