A superintendent of police (SP), a constable and 12 protesters were killed and over 40 people injured in clashes during a drive to evict illegal occupants of a land in Mathura district on Thursday.

The clashes broke out when police were trying to evict illegal occupants of a land in Jawahar Bagh by activists, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.Speaking to ANI, ADG (Law and Order) Daljeet Singh Chaudhary said, “Two police personnel and 12 encroachers died in yesterday’s clash. Encroachers who attacked & fired upon police have been identified and will be soon arrested.”

Police said that the encroachers pelted stones and later opened fire at the police team as they reached the spot. In retaliation, the police had to fire after using batons and tear gas at them, he said.

“Country-made guns, rifles, pistols and cartridges were recovered from spot, which they used to fire upon police,” said Chaudhary.

The ADG also said that they need to wait for the report of the Commissioner and will proceed accordingly.

SP (City) Mukul Dwivedi and SHO, Farah police station, Santosh Kumar were killed in firing by the encroachers, Sharma and Mishra told PTI.

Mishra said at least four dozen people, including, two dozen police personnel, were injured in the skirmishes.

Search operations were on in Jawahar Bagh though activists of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi were evicted by the joint operation of police, PAC and RAF.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased policemen.

He directed the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) to rush to the spot and bring the situation under control.

Ram Vraksha Yadav, leader of the activists, and the security officer of the group Chandan Gaur managed to flee along with thousands of their supporters, DM Rajesh Kumar said.

The area was filled with smoke due to blast of hand grenades and LPG cylinders following which several huts caught fire, the DM said.

Over two years ago, activists of splinter group of Baba Jai Gurudeo, claiming themselves to be member of ‘Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi’, had occupied hundreds of acres of land of Jawahar Bagh on the pretext of ‘dharna’.

The high court had, acting on a PIL, recently directed the authorities to vacate the land.