A bust of former West Bengal chief minister and Congress leader Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy was destroyed in East Burdwan district on Saturday night. In the morning, locals discovered that the bust, which was installed near Mankar railway station in 2011, was smashed. Pieces of the bust were seen scattered on the road.
The Congress alleged that BJP workers were behind the incident and lodged a complaint against unidentified people at Budbud Police Station. The BJP denied the allegation.
Local Congress leader Debesh Chakrabarty said, “A communal party in West Bengal is targeting eminent personalities of Bengal and destroying their statues and busts. This is not the culture of the state. We have lodged a complaint with the police and demand action against the culprits.”
Congress workers also staged a protest in the area. The police, however, are yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident.
State Congress president Somen Mitra said in a statement: “From destroying of Roy’s bust to throwing ink inside Bidhan Bhawan (state Congress headquarters), these are the attacks on the culture of Bengal. They don’t know who Bidhan Chandra Roy was and have no respect either for him or social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.”
The TMC too pointed its finger at the BJP for destroying Roy’s bust.
“Those who are ruling the country have no knowledge about the culture and heritage of Bengal. They do not know how to show respect to eminent personalities – be it Bidhan Chandra Roy or Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. People should boycott this political force. Our party does not believe in the culture of destroying statues or attacking someone’s office. We never destroyed Lenin’s statue after coming to power in Bengal. But Lenin’s statue was destroyed in Tripura. This is an act of an extremist party,” said senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim.
The BJP, however, denied its involvement into the incident. “The BJP is not involved in this incident in anyway. We do not indulge in such politics where one would destroy statues. Today, the Congress needs an issue to stay afloat in politics. It is the duty of the state government to protect the statues and arrest those who are behind this incident. We demand a probe into this,” said West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
Eminent physician and freedom fighter, Bidhan Chandra Roy was the second chief minister of West Bengal. He served as CM from 1948 to until his death in 1962. He was awarded Bharat Ratna – country’s highest civilian honour – in 1961. He was also Gandhi’s friend and doctor.