A protest broke out on Tuesday after a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar was desecrated on the outskirts of Kalaburagi town in Karnataka with a garland of footwear, The Hindu reported.

The protest started peacefully as members of Dalit organisations and Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporters held a demonstration and blocked roads in the town.

However, it later turned violent as protestors started throwing stones at shops and other business establishments at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Circle, Humnabad Base and Super Market areas, reported The New Indian Express.

Even though the police assured to bring the culprits to book, the protestors did not budge, prompting Deputy Commissioner of Police Kanika Sarriwal to step in and clean and garland the statue.

“The police are trying to track down those who insulted Dr BR Ambedkar,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Rayappa Hunasagi said, reported The Times of India. “The culprits will be arrested soon and strict action will be taken.”

The police said that case has been registered and two susects are being interrogated.

The protestors called off the strike after Deputy Commissioner Fauzia Tarannum paid floral tributes to the statue and promised to replace it with a new one.

Congress MLA from Jewargi D Ajay Singh and Kalaburagi South MLA Dattatraya C Patil Revoor condemned the desecration. Singh said that the Congress government in the state has the utmost respect for Ambedkar.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders urged the protestors to refrain from violence.