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.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.

New Delhi (PTI): On the 49th anniversary of Emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that its dark days are a reminder of how the Congress subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution which every Indian respects greatly.

Hitting out at the main opposition party, he said in posts on X that those who imposed the Emergency have no right to profess their love for our Constitution.

Modi said, "These are the same people who have imposed Article 356 on innumerable occasions, got a Bill to destroy press freedom, destroyed federalism and violated every aspect of the Constitution."

"The mindset which led to the imposition of the Emergency is very much alive among the same Party which imposed it. They hide their disdain for the Constitution through their tokenism but the people of India have seen through their antics and that is why they have rejected them time and again," he said.

Just to cling on to power, the then Congress Government disregarded every democratic principle and turned the nation into a jail, Modi said, adding that any person who disagreed with the party was tortured and harassed.

"Socially regressive policies were unleashed to target the weakest sections," he said.

On June 25, 1975, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, a Congress stalwart, imposed Emergency in the country, suspending civil liberties, jailing opposition leaders and dissidents and effecting press censorship.

The prime minister said the anniversary on Tuesday is a day to pay homage to all those great men and women who resisted the Emergency.

The first day of the 18th Lok Sabha on Monday witnessed a war of words between Prime Minister Modi and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge over the imposition of Emergency.