One of the main factors behind the massive clashes in Mathura on Thursday, which left 24 people, including two police officers, dead, is said to be the multi-crore empire of godman Jai Gurudev.
A self-proclaimed religious leader from Uttar Pradesh, Jai Gurudev died in 2012. During his lifetime, he reportedly had amassed large amounts of wealth, including property worth hundreds of crores.
Deccan Chronicle reported that his properties across the country, apparently donated by his devotees, are worth over Rs 12,000 crore. This is excluding the 250 luxury cars that he had.
"Thereâ€™s a school and a petrol pump in Mathura owned by Jai Gurudev Trust, and the leaderâ€™s fleet of luxury cars included multiple Mercedes Benz, Skodas and BMWs. He also had a temple to himself in Mathura, dozens of ashrams, assets and cash amounting to crores. Besides, there were thousands of followers â€” including, allegedly, some powerful politicians," a report in The Indian Express states.
Known as a powerful man with weighty political connections, Gurudev also founded the Doordarshi Party that has contested elections in the state.
His driver Pankaj inherited the empire after Jai Gurudev's death which reportedly did not go down well with another staunch disciple of the godman, Ram Vraksh Yadav who went ahead and formed a splinter group. This groups calls themselves members of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, states the Deccan Chronicle report.
The DC report further states, "Ram Vraksh and his supporters occupied the Jawahar Bagh under the pseudo name of Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahis and on the pretext of holding a satyagrah. They were allegedly being funded by their supporters and if reports are to be believed, Ram Vraksh was determined to wrest away the empire of Jai Gurudev from Pankaj Yadav and was building up resources for the â€˜final battleâ€™."
Violence erupted in Mathura on Thursday when police were trying to evict the heavily armed illegal occupants of Jawahar Bagh spread over 280 acres of government land, believed to be of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, on the orders of the Allahabad High Court.
Members of the obscure group claim to be followers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
The group has been making some unusual demands including removal of the President and the Prime Minister and discontinuation of the Indian currency. They want the Indian currency to be replaced by the 'Azad Hind Fauj Currency'. They also want 40 litre of petrol for Re one and 60 litre of diesel for Re one.