Noida’s Grand Omaxe society in Sector-93B witnessed the entry of bulldozers on Monday morning, 8 August, which went on to raze the alleged illegal construction attached to the residence of Shrikant Tyagi, who claims to be a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 'leader' -- a claim refuted by the party.
Tyagi was absconding till Tuesday morning. The Noida Police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information leading to his arrest.
While he claims to be a leader in the BJP's Kisan Morcha, the party has denied that he is even a member.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has, however, slammed the BJP for allegedly protecting the supposed leader and tweeted a collage of Tyagi’s photos with BJP leaders.
So who is Shrikant Tyagi? What was the argument about? Why were bulldozers brought in? Here’s what we know.
Photos With Several BJP Leaders
Tyagi identifies himself on social media as a national executive member of the BJP's Kisan Morcha. While his Facebook profile picture is a photo of him sharing the dais with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath himself, his cover photo is with BJP national president JP Nadda.s
Further, his profile carries many posters with the BJP symbol on it.
On Friday, 5 August, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) took cognisance of the foul language and assault by Tyagi, after a purported video of the argument surfaced online.
Meanwhile, the BJP has distanced itself from Tyagi, with BJP MP Mahesh Sharma claiming that he had "never seen the accused at any party function and clarified that Shrikant Tyagi was never a BJP worker."
On Sunday evening, 7 August, Sharma reached Grand Omaxe society and 'noted down' complaints of the residents who claimed that Tyagi used to exploit benefits of being a party member.
Security Cover and Appointment Letter
While the BJP has tried to distance itself from Tyagi, an appointment letter, dated 27 August 2018, states that he is in fact the national co-coordinator (sah-sanyojak) of the BJP Kisan Morcha’s Yuva Kisan Samiti.
A BJP leader, whose tenure coincided with Tyagi’s, confirmed that the letter was genuine and that Tyagi was a part of the team from August 2018 to April 2021, The Indian Express reported.
Moreover, BJP leader Shrikant Tyagi was also provided with security by the Ghaziabad administration from 2018 to 2020, a source in the Uttar Pradesh Police told The Quint on Monday.
The source added that Tyagi was provided one personal security officer in 2018 by the district security committee in Ghaziabad. The committee is chaired by the District Magistrate, and the Superintendent of Police (SP) is also a part of this committee which decides on who should be given security based on threat perception. Tyagi's security was later increased from one to four on the orders of the state government. The security cover was finally withdrawn on 26 February 2020.
Moreover, three personnel were deployed for his wife's security between 2019-20, the source added.
Shrikant Tyagi's Criminal History
Tyagi’s criminal history also surfaced when Noida Police announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for his arrest.
Tyagi has nine cases against him, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), from the year 2007 to two cases filed against him this year itself.
The first case, registered in 2007, was of extortion. In the second one, he was slapped with the Goonda Act.
The third case was registered in 2008 under sections of culpable homicide and threat.
A fourth case was registered in 2009 for rioting and breach of peace. The fifth case, filed in 2009 as well, was for causing damage.
In 2015, another case was registered against Tyagi for beating up a person and threatening. The seventh case, filed in 2020, was under sections of assault, threat, and attempt to murder.
The eighth case was for misbehaving, threatening and beating a woman.
The final case was registered for forgery and fraud for putting an MLA sticker on his car.
What was the Omaxe Spat About?
The argument took place when a woman resident of Omaxe raised objections against placing potted plants by the BJP leader, citing violation of rules.
Tyagi claimed that he was well within his rights to do so, and resorted to obscenities while speaking to the society resident. A purported video of the incident surfaced on social media, which showed Tyagi hurling expletives and assaulting the woman.
In the video, Tyagi pushed the woman, and was stopped by other residents present at the time.
In the video, the woman said,
“Shrikant Tyagi lives on the ground floor in this society. He was encroaching upon the plants here and I asked him to remove the plants. At this, he said, ‘If you touch the plants then I will touch you.’ He abused me a lot and abused my husband and my child.”
Soon after the incident, other women residents of the society gathered and demonstrated against Tyagi. They demanded an apology from the accused for the inappropriate words. The women alleged that the BJP leader is trying to lay claim on the society's land by planting his trees.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal also condemned the incident via a tweet.
‘Bulldozer Action is for Show’: Politicians React
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi tweeted a collage of Tyagi’s photos with BJP leaders and said, “Did the BJP government not know for so many years that the construction of the Noida BJP leader is illegal? Bulldozer action is for show. The government is avoiding the answers to these questions."
Gandhi asked, “Who is giving the courage to 10-15 goons to indecently threaten a woman so openly? Who is it that kept saving him? Under whose protection did his hooliganism and illegal business flourish?”
The Trinamool Congress also slammed the BJP over the issue. Dr Shashi Panja, senior cabinet minister in Mamata Banerjee's government, claimed that the BJP does not believe in 'nari shakti' (women empowerment) which they speak of.
On Monday, the bulldozers demolished a roof-like extension outside Tyagi's residence.
Hammers were also used to destroy the allegedly illegal constructions at the housing society.
Residents of the complex were also seen cheering and celebrating after the demolition, praising the government led by UP CM Yogi Adityanath.