Lucknow: After a video showing volunteers of a right-wing outfit purportedly brandishing weapons in an arms training camp surfaced, police on Wednesday arrested Bajrang Dal's Ayodhya chief Mahesh Mishra.
The Hindu right organisation had on May 14 held a training camp where Bajrang Dal activists executed a mock drill of eliminating "rioters and terrorists" wearing scull caps and checked scarves, traditionally worn by Muslims.
After police registered a case against office bearers and activists of the saffron outfit at Kotwali police station in Ayodhya late Tuesday night, Mishra was arrested this evening, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said.
Police said Mishra and others were booked for spreading communal hatred and breach of peace as they projected Muslim youths as rioters and terrorists at the training programme.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik had yesterday defended holding of weapons training camp by the hardline organisation, which faced criticism by the state's ruling Samajwadi Party.
"This arms training is for the purpose of self defence. There should not be any objection from any quarter. The intention behind this exercise is what counts," Naik had told reporters.
However, Samajwadi party had slammed the training sessions and termed it as a "terrorist training".
"Such kind of mock drills can be conducted only by government agencies. Now organisations are conducting these in their own way, like we see ISIS, Hizbul Mujahideen and naxals doing it. I see this as a terrorist training," Syed Asim Waqar," SP spokeperson said.
Photographs of Bajrang Dal cadres brandishing rifles, swords and even sticks in the camps had gone viral on social media and news channels.
(With PTI inputs)