Statue wars continue: Gandhi bust defaced in Kerala, Ambedkar in Chennai

Representative image. Photograph:( Others )

PTI India Mar 08, 2018, 10.46 AM (IST)

A bust of Mahatma Gandhi was found defaced in Kannur district's Taliparamba town today, police said.

The spectacle carving was damaged and a garland on the statue was lying nearby, an official said, giving details of the vandalisation, the latest in a series of similar incidents being reported from various parts of the country.

The Gandhi statue was close to the Taliparamba Taluk office, the official said, adding that a probe was on to identify those behind the incident. A CCTV visual showed the suspected man behind the incident walking away from the site.

Some locals on the spot were reported as saying that they saw a man hurling a stone at the statue before fleeing the spot.

A complaint was received from Deputy Tahsildar C V Prakasan, based on which investigations are on, the official said.

Yesterday, a bust of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in Kolkata. The day before, a statue of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar was damaged in Meerut. The incidents came close on the heels of Communist leader Lenin's statues being damaged in Tripura and Dravidian movement founder E V Ramasamy Periyar's bust being desecrated in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. 

Ambedkar statue vandalised: 

Adding to the list of statues of leaders being vandalised in various parts of the country, a bust of Dalit leader B R Ambedkar in a residential locality in Chennai was found defaced on Thursday, triggering a protest by locals, police said.

The bust, placed inside a structure covered with a grill in a residential neighbourhood in Tiruvotriyur, was splattered with paint.

As news of the defacement spread, people in the north Chennai area staged a protest. A police team led by Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) G Shashank Sai visited the spot and assured action against the culprits.

"Based on a complaint from the local people, we have registered an FIR and two special teams have been formed to trace the culprits," the DCP said.

More police pickets have been posted in the area for maintenance of law and order, he said.

A series of incidents of desecration of statues of various leaders, including Ambedkar, rationalist E V Ramasamy "Periyar" and Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, have been reported from different parts of the country.

The incidents began after statues of Communist icon Vladimir Lenin were pulled down in Tripura following the BJP's victory in the Assembly elections, ending 25 years of Communist rule.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the vandalism and said stern action would be taken against those found guilty.