Following the pulling down of Lenin’s statue in Tripura two days ago and vandalism of Periyar’s statue in Tamil Nadu a day later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condemned these incidents in strong words, saying stern action will be taken against those found guilty, a statement by his office read.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said PM Modi has spoken to him and “expressed strong disapproval of such incidents”. The PM’s reaction came a little ahead of reports of vandalism of the bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in Kolkata this morning.
On Tuesday, the Home Ministry had called the Tripura Governor and DGP to ensure peace till a new government is installed.
The MHA statement issued on Wednesday read: “Incidents of the toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country. MHA has taken serious notes of such incidents of vandalism. PM also spoke to HM in this regard and has expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents.”
In an advisory to the states, the statement further said: “MHA has asked the states that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law.”
In Kolkata, Sangh ideologue Mookerjee’s bust was damaged and its face blackened. Six persons, who claimed to be students of Jadavpur University and members of an ultra-left student outfit, have been arrested
Following BJP’s massive electoral victory in Tripura, celebrating BJP workers and supporters had brought down a statue of Lenin in Belonia on Monday with the help of a JCB amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai’’. The incident triggered violence and clashes between rival political groups in different parts of the state. The CPM claimed at least “200 cases of violence” against its cadres as well as attacks on its offices a day after the results were announced.
The following day, two men allegedly vandalised a Periyar statue a few hours after Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja said statues of Dravidian icon E V Ramasamy ‘Periyar’ “will be brought down”.