A first information report has been filed against a group of people by a businessman in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh for allegedly painting his home saffron despite objections. The businessman claims that he was threatened and abused after he asked them to stop. The lane where the incident happened also has the residence of UP Minister Nand Gopal Nandi.
The minister has defended the incident and called it "development work" and said the controversy is "needless", reported NDTV.
Visuals from the lane showed rows of houses painted in saffron and religious symbols being painted on many of them.
According to a report in NDTV, a one minute long video shot by businessman Ravi Gupta on Monday from the balcony of his home in Bahadurganj locality of Prayagraj shows a group of people spraying saffron paint on the outer walls of his home.
"See how much this 'goonda gardi' (hooliganism) has increased," a man can be heard saying.
"Please stop when I am asking you to. Please move away," another person can be heard saying.
But the men did not stop, the businessman said, and they abused the businessman and his family members.
In the same video, one more person is heard naming UP Minister Nandi and alleging the work is being done after he gave directions.
The group of people then directly sprayed paint on the people in the balcony, covering the phone lens in paint.
Gupta filed an FIR on Monday night naming a man - Kamal Kumar Kesarwani - as the main accused in the case. Kesarwani is UP Minister Nand Gopal Nandi's cousin.
"All I want is that the constitutional safeguards to me as a citizen should not be tampered with. 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," said Ravi Gupta.
The case is being investigated, the Prayagraj Police said, adding that action would be taken.
However, Nandi, who lives in the same neighbourhood, has said the FIR is a "conspiracy".
"It is not entirely 'bhagwa' (saffron). I can spot red, green, and even a 'chocolaty' colour. Some people - it seems- do not like beautification. These people are 'Vikas-Virodhi' (against the development)," Nandi said.
"And then there are people who think they will become 'netas' (politicians) if they raise their voice. It's not only in my street but a river of development is flowing through Prayagraj," Nandi said to reporters.