A statue of BR Ambedkar, who is considered an icon in the Dalit community, was vandalised in Meerut’s Mawana Khurd in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday night. The police have registered a first information report against unidentified perpetrators.
This vandalism took place the same night the bust of social reformer EV Ramaswamy – also known as Periyar – was defaced in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore. On Wednesday, six people were detained in Kolkata for allegedly damaging the bust of Jana Sangh leader Syama Prasad Mookerjee in Kalighat.
The Dalit community protested against the act and blocked traffic on Wednesday morning. They called off their agitation only after the administration assured them that a new statue will be installed in its place.
Reports of these incidents came a day after the statue of communist icon Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – better known as Lenin – was knocked down in Tripura’s Belonia town. The statue was brought down by suspected Bharatiya Janata Party workers celebrating their party’s victory in the Assembly elections.
On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu BJP expelled party worker R Muthuraman, who was arrested on Tuesday for damaging Periyar’s bust in Vellore.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh condemned these incidents and asked states to take stern action against those accountable.