The head of a Bhimrao Ambedkar bust was covered with a bucket and an empty liquor bottle was placed on its pedestal in Sihor town of Bhavnagar district on Monday. Dalit activitis alleged that the act was an attempt to hurt sentiments of the Dalit community.
Sihor police said the head of Ambedkar’s bust in Main Bazaar of Sihor town was found covered with a plastic bucket, placed upside down, on Monday morning. An empty bottle of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) was also found placed on its pedestal.
Mavji Sarvaiya, a Dalit leader from Gundala village from Sihor taluka of Bhavnagar district, filed a complaint with Sihor police station later in the day. Based on Sarviya’s complaint, police booked unidentified persons under IPC Section 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class).
Police said the incident took place between 12 am and 8 am on Monday. “Some miscreant covered the head of Ambedkar’s bust with a plastic bucket and also placed an empty liquor bottle on the pedestal, apparently in a bid to hurt feelings of Dalits,” an officer of Sihor police said, adding the bucket and the empty bottle of IMFL were later removed.
Jignesh Mevani, independent MLA from Vadgam and a leader of the Dalit community, also condemned the incident as an attempt to divide people. “In Sihor town of Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, anti-social elements, instead of raising real issues like price rise, unemployment, education, health etc., have sought to divide people by covering the head of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar with a bucket and placing a liquor bottle nearby,” Mevan posted on his official Facebook page.
Sihor police said they had launched a probe into the incident but added that nobody was detained or arrested till late Monday evening.
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