Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday warned of strict action after two unidentified persons vandalised the house of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Mumbai’s Dadar area, PTI reported. The Mumbai Police have registered a first information report in the matter.
The accused pelted stones at windows, damaged CCTV cameras and flower pots inside Ambedkar’s
house on Tuesday night, a police official said. Officers at Matunga police station blamed the vandalism on “drug peddlers” in the locality, according to The Indian Express.
The residence, called “Rajgruh” also has a heritage museum and memorial in Hindu Colony. “The museum has been shut for public since the lockdown,” an officer said. “Minor damage was caused by the offenders.”
Thackeray said the incident was shocking, adding that his government will not tolerate it. “The premises is not just a sacred place for Ambedkarites, but the entire society,” Thackeray said. “Ambedkar preserved all his writings in this premises. This is like a pilgrimage centre for all Maharashtrians. I have asked the police to ensure strict action against the culprits.”
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the matter was being investigated. “The attack from some unidentified men on Dr Ambedkar’s residence in Dadar ‘Rajgruh’ is worthy of condemnation,” he tweeted. “The police are probing the matter and strict action will be taken against the guilty.”
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has taken note of the incident. “The vandalisation at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s residence in Mumbai is quite comdemnable,” a statement from his office said. “It is the misadventure of antisocial elements with wicked mindset. The accused will be traced at the earliest and strict action will be taken against them.”
Prakash Ambedkar, the president of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Ambedkar’s grandson, appealed for peace and asked supporters to not gather outside the three-storey building.
The house was built in the 1930s, when Ambedkar had settled in Mumbai. The ground floor of the house is a memorial and museum displaying his books, portrait and other artefacts. One floor is occupied by the descendants of Babasaheb Ambedkar.