4 years after bloodbath, Mathura park set to reopen

The Jawahar Park in Mathura that hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2016 when violent clashes between the police and squatters left two police officials and 35 others dead, is set to reopen with a new look.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will dedicate the renovated Jawahar Park in Mathura to the public next month.

The park, once a hub of squatters, has been given a grand makeover by the state government.

Spread over 150 acres, the sprawling park will have many attractions for the public, the government spokesman said.

He added that some parts of the park have been named after the two police officials, who were killed in the violent clash between the police and the squatters in 2016.

The violent clash took place in the Jawahar Park during the Samajwadi Party-rule on June 2, 2016, when the police tried to evict the encroachers led by one Ram Vriksh Yadav, an alleged supporter of a religious sect.

The squatters were heavily armed and attacked the police personnel. In the ensuing clash, two police officials — Superintendent of Police (City) Mukul Dwivedi and Station Officer of Farah police station, Santosh Yadav — and about 35 squatters, including Ram Vriksh Yadav, were killed.

Yadav, it was later revealed, ran a parallel government, complete with administration, revenue and armed forces, within the park.

The beautification of the park, redeveloped on the pattern of Ram Manohar Lohia park in Lucknow, has cost the administration more than Rs 13 crore and it has taken almost three years for its completion.

The park was scheduled to open in April this year but has been delayed due to repeated Covid-induced lockdown.

According to officials the 280-acre park, which was illegally occupied by Yadav, has been beautified with ornamental, aromatic plants, lights, besides a children’s park with swings, open gym, Yoga platform, 4.5 km walking track, one km jogging track, food court and open-air theatre with capacity of 400 people within the complex.

“All work has been completed and only some final touches remain. Around 5,000 plants. including divine trees associated with 27 Nakshatra have been planted,” the spokesman said.