A BR Ambedkar statue whose vandalisation led to clashes in the town of Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district on Sunday evening was replaced within 12 hours of the incident, The New Indian Express reported on Monday.
The statue was initially set to be installed in Aaththur in Salem district. But as violence broke out in Vedaranyam, the government transported it to the town and installed it in the early hours of Monday.
On Sunday evening, a vehicle belonging to an upper-caste outfit hit a pedestrian from the Dalit community near Vedaranyam police station. After the vehicle’s driver sought refuge in the police station, Dalit community members pelted stones at the station and torched the vehicle. As the news spread, upper caste Hindus gathered and damaged the Ambedkar statue.
The police have detained 37 people in connection with the violence, The Hindu reported. According to the police, 16 of them are Dalits and the others are from upper-caste groups.
On Monday, buses started plying in the town as the situation limped back to normalcy. Police personnel have been deployed every 50 metres in the town. Most of the shops in the town remained closed, The New Indian Express reported.
Inspector General of Police (Central Zone) V Varadaraju, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Thanjavur Range) J Loganathan, and the superintendents of police of Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur are in Vedaranyam to oversee security.