Tripura BJP workers, supporters bulldoze Lenin statue amid cries of ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’

Tripura: At 2.30 pm Monday, 48 hours after the assembly election results were announced, celebrating BJP workers and supporters brought it down with the help of a JCB amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai’’.

Written by Esha Roy | Agartala | Updated: March 6, 2018 10:05 am
tripura election results, Lenin statue vandalised, BJP, tripura assembly election results, ipft, tripura elections, cpm, manik sarkar, biplab deb, indian express A JCB being used in Belonia to bring down a Lenin statue

In the heart of Belonia town in Tripura’s extreme south, a statue of Communist icon Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, stood at the centre of College Square for the last five years. At 2.30 pm Monday, 48 hours after the assembly election results were announced, celebrating BJP workers and supporters brought it down with the help of a JCB amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai’’.

While the CPI(M), which lost power in the state after 25 years, described the incident as an example of “Communism phobia”, the BJP claimed that the statue was brought down by people “oppressed” by the Left.

“Eyewitnesses told me that after the statue fell, its head was dismembered from the body. And then, the BJP workers played football with Lenin’s head,’’ claimed Tapas Datta, CPI(M)’s Belonia sub-division secretary.

South Tripura SP Ipper Monchak said the driver of the JCB, Ashish Pal, was arrested in the evening and let off on bail. “The statue remains where it has fallen. It will be removed by police tomorrow and given to the municipality for storage,” said Monchak.

According to CPI(M)’s Datta, the 11.5-ft fibre-glass statue was sculpted by local artist Krishna Debnath at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. It was installed as the party began its 21st year of rule, after winning the 2013 assembly elections.

BJP south district secretary Raju Nath, who has been blamed by the CPI(M) of having planned the incident, said the statute fell because of an “overflow of anger”.

“For years, there has been resentment against this statue of Lenin. It was built by the municipality and funded by the taxpayers’ money. Why should the taxpayer have to finance a statue of Lenin? Even if it was a statue of our former CPI(M) chief minister Nripen Chakraborty, nobody would have touched it — he was one of us and belonged to the country. But what does this foreigner Lenin have to do with our people?’’ said Nath.

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar alleged that the incident was the latest in a string of attacks targeting his party after the BJP-IPFT alliance came to power.

tripura election results, Lenin statue vandalised, BJP, tripura assembly election results, ipft, tripura elections, cpm, manik sarkar, biplab deb, indian express Lenin statue was brought down at Belonia town, Tripura at 2.30 pm Monday by some BJP workers chanting “Bharat Mata ki jai’’

“Our party workers and supporters are being attacked physically, leaders are being threatened, our offices are being occupied, vandalised and set on fire… as are the homes of many of our workers. The bringing down of the statue is nothing but Communism phobia,’’ claimed Dhar.

Local CPI(M) leader Datta said the statue was the only one of Lenin among “some 15-20 across Belonia town installed over the past two decades to beautify the city”. “The others include statues of Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Vidyasagar and Kabi Nazrul,” he said.

Describing the events leading to the statue’s fall, BJP’s Nath s+aid, “We were carrying out a victory rally this afternoon. When we reached College Square, there was a bulldozer that was trying to make its way through the crowds. In the process, the driver lost control and hit the railing around the statue. When this happened, the supporters surrounded the driver and made him bring down the statue. This was not an unnatural feeling for these people who have been oppressed by the CPI(M) for so long.”

Nath denied charges that the JCB was hired by his party. “The houses near the statue belong to families opposed to the Left. Every week, the CPI(M) would hold gatherings and events near the statue and impose their ideology on these people. They’d had enough,” he said.

SP Monchak said the police station where the JCB driver was held “had been gheraoed” by a crowd seeking his release.

“We would have released Pal in any case as this was not a non-bailable offence. We believe the JCB had been hired expressly for this purpose but we cannot say who hired it. An inquiry is still on,’’ said Monchak.

Incidentally, one of the most prominent statues of Lenin in the country, at Esplanade in the heart of Kolkata, remains in place even though the Left was toppled from power after 34 years by Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in 2011.

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  1. Shams Shamsul
    Mar 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm
    The reprehensible acts by the Tripura Hindutva goons of razing statues of Lenin who led the greatest October Socialist Revolution in 1917 and was the only head of a state (USSR) who supported the Indian freedom struggle, should not surprise anybody. Large number of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandershekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah adopted socialism as their creed and died dreaming of independent India on the model of USSR. The Hindutva goons love Swami Vivekananda but do not bother what he said about Socialism. He said: "I am a socialist not because I think it is a perfect system, but half a loaf is better than no bread." Before his death in 1902 he was aware of Lenin led, CPSU Russian Communist Party's fight for revolution and commented that the first Proletariat revolution would take place in either Russia or China. Those who razed the Lenin statues are children of RSS/Hindu Mahasabha which betrayed India's freedom struggle.
    1. Chandra Sekhar Mogilisetti
      Mar 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm
      Why so much of hue and cry? Where are these people when the Idols of leaders from Andhra were pulled down and thrown into Hussain Sagar on Tank Bund Bridge in Hyderabad during the agitation of separate state? Now everyone wants to comment because it is relevant for a particular party. Those people are not relevant?
      1. P
        Mar 7, 2018 at 3:33 pm
        Lenin has killed more Russian people even than Hitler. During 20th century communism killed more than 100000000 people around the world. Great move India, support from Poland.
        1. A
          Mar 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm
          The statues of this great man called Lenin which stood very tall in the erstwhile Soviet Union, the place where he belonged to, were d down decades back. Here, we have our communists who do not know which way to go, are crying se over a man known for his dictatorial skills rather than anything worthwhile being shown his place. In the rubbles of Tripura. How many statues of Bhagat SIngh have the communists erected so far. Suddenly when Lenin became inconsequential they want him to be tagged with Bhagat Singh. Opportunists like ever. They should remember and go around to see how many statues of Indira Gandhi have they vandalised in the last 25 years. Communists preaching non violence is like the Ghosts quoting scriptures.
          1. макс люлюкин
            Mar 7, 2018 at 5:08 am
            cattle is cattle , this class of the population is in any country when people are going uncontrolled in the crowd he suddenly becomes stupid and turns in many cases it is the was a then of this condition and do not come out never, the less educated the population the more cattle I say this to you as Russian, the same is happening in Ukraine, the same crowd of uneducated ignorant people running around the country blasting everything they don't like, in the end, the country plunged into chaos, there's only one cure from this disease , this heavy machine guns, to fit multiple vehicles and crumble these animals in beef, Yanukovych in 2013, was afraid to do so, in the end, about 10 million of the 50 million population of Ukraine left the country in search of a better life, it is Better to destroy 10 000 animals than will suffer millions
            1. Navaneetham Chandrasekharan
              Mar 7, 2018 at 10:42 am
              s: news18 /…/now-bjp-leader-calls-for-casteist-… Senior BJP leader H Raja is facing backlash for putting up a post on Facebook, where he calls Periyar "casteist" and called for the reformist's statue to be "destroyed". BJP leader H Raja is facing backlash where he calls Periyar"casteist" called for the reformist's statue to be "destroyed".He is a stooge of just 0.1 intolerant, cunning, crooked,number one terrorists of the world paradesi Beni Israeli lunatic, mentally ed, violent, militant, ever shooting the 99.9 sarvajan samaj including SC/STS/OBCs/Converted Religious Minorities whoa re the aboriginal inhabitants unlike the chitpavan brahmins. After the Murderers of democratic ins utions (Modi) gobbled the Master Key for BJP (Brashatachar Jiyadha Psychopaths) by tampering the fraud EVMs these fanatics have become emboldened. If elections are conducted with Ballot Papers these fanatics will not even get 0,1 votes as the 99.9 Sarvajan samaj does not support t
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