An imposing statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin, which was pulled down by a group of people in South Tripura's Belonia, will be kept at the premises of the municipal body in Agartala, a top official said.
The nearly 11-feet-tall fibreglass statue, which stood on a pedestal at College Square, was brought down on Monday, 5 March, with the help of a bulldozer.
"We initially let the damaged statue lay there as it was since we were not sure about the mood of the people. We wanted for things to subside a bit. But, now, as per instructions from higher authorities, we have decided to take the statue and store it in our office premises", Belonia Municipal Council's CEO Amit Ghosh told PTI.
He said, it has not yet been decided whether it will be kept indoors or outdoors at the Council's premises.
"The head is severed from the main body of the statue, so it presents an ungainly sight. We will try to wrap it up in something. Whatever happened is condemnable. Lenin is a world icon... there is no CCTV camera in the area where the incident took place." - Amit Ghosh, CEO, Belonia Municipal Council
The statue was erected sometime around 2015 at the cost of nearly Rs 5 lakh and a local artist has sculpted it. The fund had come from the Tripura Urban Employment Programme (TUEP), he said.
"We want to repair the statue but that will also entail expenditure. If anyone wants to contribute any fund for the restoration of the statue, it is welcomed. Also, if any party wants to take the statue, we can also work that out." - Amit Ghosh, CEO, Belonia Municipal Council
Lenin's statue was brought down at Belonia town, headquarters of South Tripura district, days after the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the Assembly elections in Tripura where a 25-year-long communist government was ousted.
CPI(M) and its arch-rival in Bengal, the Trinamool Congress, have blamed the BJP for the incident.
Ghosh said, he along with a team of the civic body are at he College Square to carry and transport the statue.
"We are handling the state very carefully, as it made of fibreglass. So, a crane will be used to carry it to the Council's premises", he said.
Asked if the statue will be reinstalled or another one would replace it, he only said, "At this point of time, nothing has been decided. We are also thinking of holding a town hall to let the local people decide of its fate”. On the situation in and around College Square, he said, "Situation now is normal”. Asked if there are more statues in the jurisdiction area of the Council, Ghosh said, "There is one of Karl Marx, located a bit far off. Then statues of Gandhi and Netaji are there in the main town”.
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