Lucknow, Dec 20: Seven people who formed a red sandalwood smuggling gang taking inspiration from Allu Arjun movie 'Pushpa' were arrested from Mathura, sources from the Special Task Force (STF) said here on Tuesday.

Deepak alias Dalveer, Ajit Kumar Yadav, Sumit alias Ram, Chandra Pratap alias Babbu, Sumit Das, Jitendra, and Ranjit were arrested on a tip off from Highway Police Station on Monday, an STF release issued here said.

In the operation conducted jointly with a Forest department team, 563 kg red sandalwood worth about Rs 2 crore was recovered from them, they said.

The accused were in Mathura to sell the sandalwood, it said.

According to the STF, the accused confessed they took inspiration from 'Pushpa: The rise' and decided on making a quick buck stealing the expensive wood.

The gang kept the wood with one Rana, a resident of Delhi, who has a timber chamber licence.

They brought the red sandalwood illegally from Andhra Pradesh and sold it at religious places and nearby areas of Mathura, STF said.

An FIR has been registered against the seven men at Highway Police Station under relevant sections of IPC and other acts.

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Meerut (UP) (PTI): Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Tejasvi Surya claimed on Tuesday that the BJP will get more seats in next year's Lok Sabha polls compared to the 2019 general election.

He also said the "double-engine" government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has changed the face of Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing a BJYM convention in Meerut, Surya said, "The BJP will get more seats in the 2024 polls than in 2019 and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji will score a hat-trick for a third innings."

The member of Parliament from Bangalore South also alleged that before 2014, when the Modi government came to power, there was a misrule in the country, adding that nine years of the Modi government have proved to be more effective than the 70 previous years. People's welfare is the topmost priority of this government, he said.

Surya said the "double-engine" government has changed the face of Uttar Pradesh, adding that thanks to Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the law-and-order scenario of the state has also improved.

"Double engine" is a term often used by BJP leaders to refer to the saffron party being in power at the Centre as well as in a state.

Surya said under Modi's leadership, India has got respect at the global stage, which is only increasing.

The prime minister is trying to take the country to new heights, he added.