Two men vandalised a statue of Dravidian icon and social reformer EVR Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar, on Tuesday night at a municipal corporation office in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, the incident occurred just a couple of hours after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader H Raja threatened to take down the Periyar statues just like the Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s statue were demolished in Tripura after BJP’s victory in the state. The matter has been reported to police and an investigation into the matter is underway.
According to reports, the miscreants sneaked into the Tirupattur corporation office on late Tuesday night and defaced the Periyar statue. Understanding the potential rift it can cause, the police acted swiftly and nabbed two men – one man was a BJP member while another man belonged to Communist Party of India (CPI). After making the arrest, the police said that both the miscreants were drunk. A day later, BJP office in Coimbatore was attacked by unidentified men who hurled petrol bombs at the premises. The matter is currently under investigation.
Earlier, BJP leader H Raja stoked a controversy with a Facebook post where he wrote, “Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection has India with Communists? Lenin’s statue has been removed in Tripura. Today it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy.” Apparently, it did not go down well with many. After Periyar statue was razed, the police have been guarding the other statues of the Dravidian icon in the state in order to avoid any further similar incidents.
Speaking to media post Periyar statue incident, H Raja said, “The post on my facebook page was done by one of the admins without my permission. As soon as I came to know about it, I deleted the post.We have to respond through statements and opinions not through violence. It is not correct to deface statue of Periyar.”
After the Tripura Assembly election 2018 results were declared on March 3, a frenzied mob bulldozed a statue of Vladimir Lenin in the state which drew widespread condemnation from the public figures across the country.