Unidentified people decapitated and vandalised a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar in a park in Trivenipuram area of Jhunsi in Allahabad city, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. Local residents found the statue’s head lying a few feet away from its body on Saturday morning.

After the incident, local leaders of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party gathered at the spot, protesting and demanding that those responsible for the act be arrested. New Phulpur MP Nagender Singh Patel, a Samajwadi Party member, also reached the spot.

“We have registered a First Information Report against unidentified persons and are investigating the case,” Additional Superintendent of Police (trans-Ganga) Sunil Kumar Singh said. “We suspect the incident occurred last night.”

BSP’s Allahabad Zone President RK Gautam said his party and supporters have demanded that the district authorities set up a police chowki in the area. “This statue over the last fifteen years, since a private person set it up, has been vandalised at least four times,” he said. “We have also demanded that the authorities replace the vandalised statue with a new one. We will be staging a sit-in till it has been replaced.”

Meanwhile, another statue of Ambedkar was damaged in Siddharthnagar district’s Gohaniya area on Friday night, ANI reported. Residents of the area protested and demanded that the police take action against the vandals.

Following the incidents, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath asked police officials in the state to ensure that such vandalism is not repeated, a government press release said. He asked the officials to initiate strict action against those responsible for the incidents. Adityanath said that it was necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the state, for which the authorities could take the help of legislators.

Ambedkar’s statues have been vandalised in Azamgarh and Meerut earlier in March. The incidents were triggered after the razing of Communist icon Vladimir Lenin’s statue in Tripura.