Mathura: Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, which clashed with the police in Mathura during an eviction drive last week, were giving arms training to young children.
At the same time, they were running a parallel judicial system and had its own constitution, jails and several 'battalions' of soldiers.
A senior police officer, DC Mishra told AFP news agency, "Children as young as eight years old were being given training in arms."
Nine children were sent to a children's home in the city yesterday. They were living in the illegal colony.
NDTV spoke to three of them, all aged 9.
"We hid behind the trees. Bombs were being thrown around, stones hurled, bullets fired everywhere," one child was quoted as saying.
He also said that they were taken to Govind Nagar jail in Mathura and then brought to the children's home.
As per the report, his siblings, 8 and 12 years of age, as well as his mother, were still in jail.
But the police said that all children who were rounded up have been sent to various children's homes in Mathura and Agra.
"They were talking about a fight. They were abusing the administration and were saying that Jawahar Bagh will never be vacated," another child told the TV channel.
One more child, brought to Jawahar Bagh by his aunt, said that she was asked to move to the area by sect leader Ram Vriksh Yadav.
"She brought me here because there's a Netaji called Ram Vriksh Yadav. She said he'll free Bharat. He will come and give us all a gold coin and that is the only currency that will work in India," she said.
If there is no one to take custody of the children, they'll continue to live at the children's home, otherwise they will be allowed to meet their parents before being handed over to their relatives, superintendent of the children's home was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the death toll from Thursday's clashes between encroachers of Jawahar Bagh and the police today rose to 29 with two more people succumbing to injuries even as the Aligarh Divisional Commissioner launched a probe into the incident.
Mathura Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Singh said 45 cases have been registered against 3000 encroachers belonging to a cult, owing allegiance to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
An unidentified encroacher died during treatment in the district hospital here and one Pinkoo, a resident of Azamgarh, succumbed to his injuries in SN Medical College in Agra, taking the death toll to 29, Chief Medical Officer Vivek Mishra said.
Aligarh Divisional Commissioner Chandra Kant, meanwhile, launched a probe to ascertain the circumstances leading to the incident, which has left the Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh red-faced and invited sharp criticism from the Opposition.
Kant, who said he would go into the reasons for the incident and ascertain the likely lapses, said he would submit his report to the government within a fortnight.
A veritable armoury was recovered from the township the cult had established at the park.
Five kg of sulphur, 2.5 kg of gun powder, one kg potash, 500 grams of small iron balls and an electronic plate were found during the search operation in Jawahar Bag yesterday. Besides, 47 country-made pistols, six rifles, 178 live cartridges, 15 four wheelers and 6 two-wheelers were also impounded from the site of the clashes.
The secretive cult had occupied nearly 300 acres of Jawahar Bagh and erected temporary dwellings for the followers.
(With PTI inputs)