Statue Vandalism Continues; Mahatma Gandhi’s Bust Damaged in Kannur, Ambedkar’s Statue Defaced in Chennai

Kannur (Kerala), Mar 8: Days after two statues of Vladimir Lenin and a statue of Dravidian movement leader Periyar were vandalised in Tripura and Tamil Nadu’s Vellore, respectively, some unknown persons razed Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Kerala’s Kannur. The Gandhi statue, installed in the Thaliparamba area of Kannur, was left with a broken spectacle dangling from its face.

In a separate incident, reported from Chennai, some unidentified miscreants poured paint on the bust of Dr BR Ambedkar in Tiruvottiyur in Tamil Nadu.

The incident of vandalism came a day after a statue of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, installed in Kalighat, was damaged in Kolkata. The bust was blackened and de-shaped with a hammer. Six people were arrested in connection with the vandalism. The locals said that some youths tried to knock down the statue and smeared its face with black ink.

On Monday, March 5, a Lenin statue at the College Square in south Tripura’s Belonia was knocked down by a mob. A day after, another Lenin statue was vandalised in Tripura amid clashes between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

The CPI-M leaders accused BJP workers of damaging two statues of Vladimir Lenin. “Two statues of Vladimir Lenin was knocked down by the BJP activists on Monday night at Sabroom in southern Tripura. The statue was set up a few years back,” Tripura CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar told news agency IANS.

“The BJP supporters, chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, knocked down the statue of Lenin near a government college in Belonia,” said CPI-M leader Haripada Das. The BJP hit back accusing the Left party of “deliberately provoking and indulging in violence and attacks on BJP supporters”.

Reacting to the incidents of vandalism, Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “Incidents of toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country. MHA has taken serious notes of such incidents of vandalism. PM also spoke to HM in this regard & has expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents.”

“MHA has asked the states that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with & booked under relevant provisions of law,” it added.

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