On Thursday, a photograph of a statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in Gaddi Chowk area of Badaun, enclosed in an iron cage with a policeman sitting besides it, went viral. According to district officials, police have been deployed near every Ambedkar statue in the district since the April 2 Bharat bandh called to protest the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The measures would continue till April 14, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. The Badaun administration and district police denied having set up the enclosure around the statue. Police said the cage was set up by a “local committee”. The cage was removed later in the day.
“If the people of the committee are doing something, we cannot stop them. If they want to cover their statue, or cage it or do something to protect it from the birds and pigeons… we have no right to stop them. The people of the committee did it on their own and probably removed (the cage) on their own,” said Badaun SSP Ashok Kumar.
Badaun SP (City) Kamal Kishore said the local BJP corporator from ward number 14, Jitendra Kumar, put up the cage to protect it from vandals and later removed it. Kumar could not be reached for comments.