A statue of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar was allegedly vandalised late on Tuesday night in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, the latest in a series of attacks on statues of political and ideological figures across the country.
The incident, reported at Khurd village in Mawana, triggered severe protest with several members from the Dalit community taking to the streets on Wednesday. The agitators also put up a road blockade demanding immediate action against the miscreants.
Mawana Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ankush Srivastava told The Indian Express on phone: “A statue of BR Ambedkar was vandalised in Khurd village of Mawana here last night and we have reached the spot in the morning. We have got a new and even bigger statue of Ambedkar installed at the place. Adequate police force has been deployed in the region to prevent escalation of tension.”
Police have also lodged a report against anti-social elements in this connection, but no arrests have been made so far, he said.
The incident came to light hours after the Home Ministry sent an advisory to all state governments and Union Territories to take strong action to prevent such incidents. The advisory makes all District Magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police accountable for such incidents.
A statue of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was brought down in Tripura following the BJP’s victory in the state assembly election overthrowing the Left, which was in power for more than 25 years.
On Tuesday, a statue of social reformer Ramasamy Periyar was stoned in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, allegedly by a BJP worker, who has since been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, criticising the vandalism of statues, the BSP asked the BJP to stop the “drama” of issuing statements and take steps to end the violence.
“The spate of political violence and hatred started after the installation of new governments in the north-eastern states needs to be condemned… It is because of this kind of politics that there is tension and insecurity all around,” BSP chief Mayawati said.