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Police arrest seven for ‘defacing’ Shivaji statue in Bengaluru

Police have charged the accused with creating enmity between communities, among others. They were arrested based on a complaint lodged on Friday.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 19, 2021 9:35:58 pm
The statue of Shivaji at Bashyam Circle in Sadashivanagar was defaced with black ink on December 16 by miscreants who were reportedly upset with the demand of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) seeking Belagavi’s merger with Maharashtra. (File Photo)

Police on Sunday arrested seven persons for allegedly defacing a statue of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji in Sadashivanagar area of Bengaluru.

The statue of Shivaji at Bashyam Circle in Sadashivanagar was defaced with black ink on December 16 by miscreants who were reportedly upset with the demand of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) seeking Belagavi’s merger with Maharashtra.

Police have charged the accused with creating enmity between communities, among others. They were arrested based on a complaint lodged on Friday.

“At around 1.30am on December 16, the miscreants defaced the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Sadashivanagar with black ink, made a video and uploaded the same on various social media platforms,” DCP Bengaluru Central Division M N Anucheth said.

Miscreants had earlier targeted the statue of Karnataka icon Sangolli Rayanna in Belagavi.

Meanwhile, Karanatake Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condemned the acts of desecration and said, “Shivaji Maharaj, Kitturu Rani Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna fought for the freedom of the country, they fought for the unification of the country. Dividing the society in their name should be condemned.”

Sending a strong message to the miscreants, Bommai said, “Our government will not tolerate any act of violence. The vandals would be dealt with sternly. Till now, 27 persons in Belagavi and three in Bengaluru have been arrested in connection with vandalism of Shivaji and Sangolli Rayanna’s statues.”

The chief minister appealed to citizens to not pay heed to rumours. “Nobody should attempt to spread false news and incite people. I have immense respect for the patriots. People should not get swayed by rumours,” he added.

Skirmishes between Kannada and Marathi language chauvinists in Belagavi region and parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra have been reported over the past week. Karnataka Police and government vehicles were also attacked by miscreants in Belagavi after Friday midnight, leading to imposition of a curfew in Belagavi city on Saturday.

Notably, while talking about the alleged desecration of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Bengaluru earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a statement, had demanded the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the issue to stop “Kannada atrocities”.

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