150 people have been booked for allegedly smearing black paint over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's name, which finds mention on a plaque on the statue of ninth-century King Mihir Bhoj, installed by the chief minister in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Dadri, The Indian Express reported.
CM Adityanath, on 22 September, had inaugurated a 15-foot-tall statue of King Bhoj at Mihir Bhoj Inter College in Dadri. However, locals have asserted that the word 'Gurjar' had been deliberately omitted from the plaque, as per a report by The Indian Express.
Following the installation of the statue, around 2,000 members of the Gurjar community had gathered in Dadri for a mahapanchayat on Sunday, 26 September, to protest the omission of the word ‘Gurjar’ from the plaque on the statue.
— Avtar Singh Bhadana (@AvtarBhadanaMP) September 26, 2021
According to PTI, a week after the event, the name of the chief minister was allegedly found smeared with black paint on Tuesday.
According to the report, names of Dadri MLA Tejpal Nagar, Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Nagar and Minister Ashoka Katariya were also smeared with paint.
According to The Indian Express, an FIR has been filed under several sections and a probe is being carried out.
According to The Indian Express, the word 'gurjar' has been restored on the plaque.
What Was the Issue About?
“This has now become a matter of honour for the Gurjar community. We cannot be insulted anymore. We have to send a message to the ruling government in a dignified fashion. We are not dependent on any party or organisation for our self-respect,” Gurjar leader and former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Avtar Singh Bhadana was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Shyam Singh Bhati, GB Nagar president of Akhil Bharatiya Veer Gurjar Mahasabha, told The Hindustan Times that the community leaders have given one week's time to the Uttar Pradesh government to add the word 'Gurjar' to the plaque. If the administration does not comply, the community will intensify its protests, he indicated.
Over 600 people who had attended the Dadri mahapanchayat were booked by the police for violating Section 144 of of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The police indicated that the organisers of the gathering had not been granted permission to hold the event.
The Controversy Surrounding the Statue of King Mihir Bhoj
After Chief Minister Adityanath's unveiling of the statue of King Mihir Bhoj on 22 September, contention had erupted between members of the Gurjar and the Rajput communities, with each side laying claim over the leader's legacy.
Adityanath, in a speech delivered at the inauguration, had reportedly remarked that “great icons cannot be confined to one caste, they belong to everyone.”
However, members of the Gurjar community said that the chief minister had hurt the community's sentiments by denying the recognition of King Mihir Bhoj as a Gurjar leader.
(With inputs from The Indian Express, The Hindustan Times, and PTI)
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