A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah condemned incidents of vandalising statues, reports came of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi being defaced at Kannur in Kerala and paint being poured on Dr BR Ambedkar’s bust in Chennai.
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at taluk office in Taliparamba in Kannur district of Kerala was defaced around 7am on Thursday. Unidentified miscreant broke the spectacles, damaged the garland and hurled stones at the statue.
The police have launched an investigation into the case.
A day earlier, PM Modi had condemned such acts of vandalism and spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue.
In the incident involving Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Kannur, media reports said the police have arrested one man. “He is mentally unstable and we are ruling out any political relation,” a police officer told ANI.
Some locals on the spot were reported as saying that they saw a man hurling a stone at the statue before fleeing the spot and reports said someone had also taken his photograph.
In Tamil Nadu, where the statue of Dravidian ideologue ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy was damaged in Tirupattur after Lenin’s statue was toppled, Dalit icon BR Ambedkar’s bust was targeted and unidentified people poured red paint on Ambedkar’s bust in Chennai’s Tiruvottiyur area. According to reports, Chennai police took cognizance of the matter and rushed to the spot at around 9 am. The police are currently on the lookout for the miscreants.
Starting with the pulling down of a statue of Vladimir Lenin with the help of a bulldozer in Tripura after Left Front’s debacle in the state assembly polls, the results of which were declared on Saturday, there has been a spate of incidents of statues being vandalised in various parts of the country. There were reports that in Tripura itself, another statue of Lenin was vandalised in the state.
Following this, a statue of Dravidian ideologue ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy was damaged in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu. Two people – one from BJP and the other from CPI – were arrested in connection with the incident.
On Wednesday, a statue of Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in West Bengal and one of Dr BR Ambedkar in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh were also vandalised.
Reacting to vandalism with SP Mookerjee’s statue, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the act and assured that the statue would be restored. Six members of a left-wing student organisation named ‘Radicals’ have been detained by the police in the incident.
Last year, Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was damaged by miscreants at Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh on the day of voting for assembly elections. BJP won the elections. Even before this, in 2000, under BJP government, the statue installed there was shattered to pieces by culprits who remained untraced.