The title documents of land in Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh that prove it to be government-owned have been missing for years, reported Hindustan Times. The documents are neither available at the tehsil level nor at the commissionary level. They are also missing from the Revenue Board office in Lucknow.

Raj Kumar Singh Yadav, tehsildar, Sadar, said that the khatauni – the title document of Jawahar Bagh – was not available even when he joined the office about 18 months ago. “This khatauni is not available at tehsil level and is not even with the Revenue Board in Lucknow,” he said.

But the Additional District Magistrate (executive), Mathura, AK Awasthi claimed that the missing khatauni would not come in the way of proving that Jawahar Bagh was owned by the government. “The land is not covered under UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Revenue Act and thus the prime documents are ‘khewat’ and ‘khasra’, which are available with us,” he added.

Lawyer Praveen Kumar Rawat, however, said that the khatauni was a prime title document and the fact that it had gone missing was a serious lapse. The land has come under a lens after violence in the area, during an alleged eviction drive by the police, left 29 people dead on June 2.

Meanwhile, The Hindu reported that around 200 newly-inducted Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel had been sent to Jawahar Bagh on June 2 as part of their first assignment, and were told to conduct a “reconnaissance” of the land. A government official said the new recruits, most of them unarmed, were sent with some Rapid Action Force personnel and the local police. “It had no plans to evacuate the park the same day,” he added.

Local police had reportedly tried to evict around 2,000 illegal occupants from the land, following an apex court order. The occupants were reportedly members of a sect, whose leader also died in the gun battle that ensued. Station Officer of Farah Santosh Yadav and Superintendent of Police (City) Mathura Mukul Dwivedi were the policemen reported dead in the violence.

A report on the incident, which was sent by the Uttar Pradesh government to the Centre on June 3, said, “The first team was sent on June 2 to conduct a reconnaissance and devise a strategy for the evacuation. They were preparing the ground when gas cylinders and big stones were hurled at them.”