Two first information reports have been filed after houses in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj city were painted saffron without the consent of the owners, NDTV reported on Tuesday.
One of the cases was filed by a resident, accusing Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister of Civil Aviation Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’ of sending people to paint the houses. The second one was filed by a businessman, identified as Ravi Gupta, against the BJP leader’s cousin Kamal Kumar Kesarwani.
Nandi, however, said the FIR is a “needless conspiracy” and called the painting of houses a “development work”. He added that some people are against beautification. “It’s not only in my street but a river of development is flowing through Prayagraj,” Nandi told reporters.
Visuals from the street in Bahadurganj locality, which is about 200 km from state capital Lucknow, showed rows of houses painted in saffron with religious symbols and Hindu deities.
A one-minute video shot by Gupta showed a group of people spraying saffron paint on the outer walls of his home. “See how much this hooliganism has increased,” a man can be heard saying. Another person in the clip says the work is being done on the directions of Nandi.
Gupta alleged that he and his family were verbally abused when they asked them to stop painting the walls.
“All I want is that the constitutional safeguards to me as a citizen should not be tampered with,” Gupta told NDTV. “I should be allowed to live in peace. I am a trader... no one should trouble me. I only said that I do not want to get my house painted. But I was abused and my house was forcibly painted.”
The Prayagraj Police said both the cases are being investigated and action will be taken.