The arrest of Shrikant Tyagi — the man who verbally assaulted and threatened a Noida woman — has brought back the spotlight on his alleged links with the BJP. The police said Tyagi projected himself as a BJP member with links to the party’s higher echelons. Investigations are now being conducted into how he acquired the trappings of power — like MLA stickers on his car and unexpected benefits like protection from the Ghaziabad police while being a resident of Gautam Budh Nagar.
The BJP has denied that Shrikant Tyagi was a party member.
During questioning, the police said Shrikant Tyagi claimed he had close association with Swami Prasad Maurya, the BJP MLA who switched to the Samajwadi Party right before the Uttar Pradesh elections.
The vehicle Noida police recovered from him sported a BJP flag and an MLA sticker. A vehicle recovered from his close aide had a “BJP Yuva Morcha” sticker and party flags.
“Shrikant Tyagi has an ‘MLA’ sticker on one of his vehicles. He says this sticker was given to him by his old political colleague Swami Prasad Maurya. We’re verifying this information,” said Alok Singh, Noida Police Commissioner.
Shrikant Tyagi and his wife had also received protection from the Ghaziabad police for over a year. In 2019, the couple were allotted seven gunmen after they claimed a threat to their lives.
The Ghaziabad police now face questions on why a Noida resident, who was a repeat offender, was given this treatment. The UP police have found that he was a serial offender with nine cases registered against him under charges such as attempt to murder and extortion.
“He got police protection from Ghaziabad. A high level inquiry is currently underway for that,” said Mr Singh.
Shrikant Tyagi’s social media, and certain official documents in his possession, name him as a BJP worker. His Twitter bio described him as the National Executive member of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha. His social media pages carried many pictures with senior BJP leaders like BJP chief JP Nadda.
The local BJP unit has firmly denied any links with him.
“I have never seen him on any platform or programme of our party. These days, people can get photos clicked by any means. But that does not indicate his link with any party,” Mahesh Sharma, BJP MP from Gautambuddh Nagar, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Shrikant Tyagi also spent huge amounts of money for special car number plates — all to create an intimidating image, the police said.
“The vehicles found with him have a specific number – 001. He bid for each number plate. He didn’t get any number plate for less than 1.1 lakh. He used such things to intimidate people,” said the Noida Police chief.
Tyagi was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police from Meerut today.
The police crackdown came after a video of him verbally abusing and assaulting a woman at Noida’s Grand Omaxe society was widely circulated on social media.
Yesterday, a bulldozer rolled into the residential society and razed illegal structures at his residence. He has also been charged under the state’s stringent Goonda Act.