Uttar Pradesh: Two arrested for smearing the name of Yogi Adityanath on plaque amid Mihir Bhoj caste row

News Desk: Two persons, allegedly involved in defacing a plaque placed below a statue of King Mihir Bhoj in Greater Noida three days ago, were arrested from Lucknow on Friday, the Gautam Buddh Nagar police said.

The duo, along with some other persons, had smeared the name of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the plaque with black paint on September 28 amid a caste conflict between the Gurjars and the Rajputs in Dadri area of the district, the police said.

Besides Adityanath, the names of Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Singh Nagar and Dadri MLA Tejpal Nagar, both local BJP leaders and from the Gurjar community, were also painted in black by the accused persons, the police said.

An FIR was lodged at the local Dadri police station and investigation launched, amid tension between Gurjars and Rajputs over their claims that the ninth century king belonged to their communities.

“Today, a team of Dadri police station arrested Prashant Bhati and Mohit Nagar near a toll plaza at Kakori in Lucknow after a tip-off that the accused were on their way to the state capital. The arrest was made with the support of the local police” a police spokesperson said.

“However, Shyam Singh Bhati, who was prominently seen in a purported video showing the plaque being defaced, managed to escape. The Gautam Buddh Nagar police has already sent a report to the district magistrate recommending cancellation of his arm’s license” the spokesperson said.

The duo were taken into custody by the Dadri police station team and brought to Gautam Buddh Nagar, where they were produced in a court which remanded them in jail, the official said.