People staged protests after two statues of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar were found vandalised in Azamgarh and Jaunpur districts early on Friday.
While the statue in Azamgarh was found with its right-hand fingers broken, the one in Jaunpur was lying on the ground with one of its legs broken.
Locals at both places staged protests and demanded the arrest of the culprits. Situation was brought under control after police replaced the statues with new ones.
The station house officer (SHO) of Jahanaganj in Azamgarh, Manoj Singh, said, “Early in the morning, the police control room got a message about a protest at Navapura village after a statue of Ambedkar was found damaged. Police officers reached the spot and tried to pacify the protesters. Initially, we tried to get the statue repaired. As we could not get a sculptor for the repair, we replaced it with a new one.”
An FIR was lodged against unidentified persons under IPC sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), said Singh.
In Jaunpur, SHO of Machhlishahr Parwa Kumar Singh said an Ambedkar statue was found on the ground with its right leg broken at Katahit village. A crowd raised slogans and demanded the arrest of the accused.
“We have replaced the damaged statue with a new one. A case has been lodged against unidentified persons under IPC section 295 and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups),” said the SHO.
About a week ago, another Ambedkar statue was found vandalised at Baderi village in Jaunpur district and the culprits have not been traced.
“We lodged an FIR under IPC section 295, and the statue was replaced,” said Virendra Kumar, SHO of Barsathi police station in Jaunpur.