Friday, 23 March, 2018

Statue vandalism: MHA asks states to arrest, punish culprits

Lenin statue vandalised After Lenin, Periyar, Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee's statue vandalized: PM Modi condemns the incidents
Melinda Barton | 08 March, 2018, 12:45

The first advisory came in the morning soon after Modi's call to Singh, in which states were asked to take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents.

Modi spoke to federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue and expressed his strong disapproval of the incidents of vandalism, our New Delhi correspondent reports. The Jan Sangh party of Mookerjee was related to Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was the predecessor of the BJP.

"A hand-written message placed under Syama Prasad Mookerjee's statue which was defaced roughly read: ".We have the strength to recreate, We know we can redesign because we have broken/ Since we have created dreams after dreams, we now are businessmen of dreams". Photos from Kolkata showed a part of the bust's damaged as though it had been hit by stones. "Any person associated with the BJP found to be involved with destroying any statue will face severe action from the party", he said in a tweet. The results of the polls were announced on Saturday.

The incident comes against the backdrop of a row over comments made by BJP leader H Raja indicating that statues of "Periyar" could be the next to be pulled down after a Lenin statue was razed in Tripura.

"Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India?" Lenin's statue has been removed in Tripura.

The attacks on statues is emblematic of the conflict between the Communists and the right-wing BJP in India.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah also said he has spoken to party units in Tripura and Tamil Nadu, PTI reported on Wednesday.

H Raja on Wednesday claimed the post on his verified Facebook page about Periyar statues in Tamil Nadu was published "without his permission". I have no intentions of hurting anybody.

Two men, who were in inebriated condition, have been arrested for vandalising the statue at a municipal corporation office in Vellore.

While Muthuraman is suspected to be a BJP worker, Francis is believed to be a CPI activist, police said.