A city-based lawyer, who claimed to be a member of the BJP’s lawyers wing, was arrested Monday after he allegedly hurled shoes at social reformer Periyar’s statue in Chennai.
The alleged incident happened during the 140th birth anniversary celebrations of Periyar EV Ramasamy — a social reformer who started the self-respect movement and was founder of the Dravida Kazhagam party.
A senior police officer said the accused, D Jagadeesan, was immediately taken in custody after he hurled shoes at the Periyar statue when people were paying tribute to the reformer. “Jagadeesan claimed that he is a BJP lawyer and an identity card was seized from him that confirmed his link with the party. A probe is on about his motive,” the officer said.
Asked about the man’s link to the BJP, party’s state spokesperson A N S Prasad said that Jagadeesan was not an active member of the party. “Anyone can claim to be a BJP member. People can become a member of the party with just a missed call,” Prasad said.
State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said action will be taken against Jagadeesan. Opposition leader and DMK chief M K Stalin demanded punishment for those who vandalise Periyar statues.
Meanwhile, a police officer said a similar incident was reported from Tirupur, where a Periyar statue was vandalised. “Probe in Tirupur also suggests the role of some BJP men,” the officer said.