Mathura / Vrindavan: Two days after a group of armed men of the land mafia allegedly ransacked an ashram of the Nepali Samaj here, demolished the structures and beat up ascetics and widows, Mathura police was still looking for the accused named in the FIR.
While the inmates, mostly old women, had to spend cold nights in the open, a few were missing. Police officials said that while Vrindavan Kotwali in-charge Udai Raju Singh has been sent to police lines, chowki in-charge Sudhir Kumar and Shyamvir Singh have been suspended. SP (city) Shailesh Pandey has been asked to investigate and submit a report urgently, officials added. Four policemen will keep a vigil round the clock at the demolished structure which the organization used for bhajans. A special team has been constituted to nab the accused. An official said several villages and known hideouts of the accused had been raided with no results so far.
83-year old Tulsi Dasi, a resident at the ashram, said the agents of a property dealer had been harassing them for a long time. Laxmi Dasi, 72, alleged two cows had been stolen and another two had been electrocuted. Swami Bal Krishn Sewacharya said three students and two sadhus are still missing.
Sadhvi Sri Ji Dasi said the gangsters, numbering around 50 to 60 arrived at midnight with two JCB machines and went on a rampage for two hours. "When we went to complain to the police and show them our injuries, we were forced to sit and wait till 3am while the gangsters were ransacking the entire ashram," she added.
"The ashram and its temple is almost 250 years old but now has been razed to the ground by the miscreants and no government officer bothered to come and help us out. We are now spending our nights under a makeshift tarpaulin structure," residents of the ashram said.
Meanwhile, local politicians have started visiting the temple-ashram premises to console the victims. MLA Pradeep Mathur of the Congress demanded firm and independent inquiry and action. Samajwadi Party leader Thakur Kishor Singh said there was need for concrete action against the culprits. Bahujan Samaj Party district coordinator Yogesh Dwivedi wanted immediate action and arrest of the accused, and help to the affected inmates of the ashram.
The Nepali Mitr Parishad has criticised the police inaction and demanded arrest of the culprits. Secretary Pushpraj said Indo-Nepalese relations could be harmed.
(Photo Jahid Sayyad)