PM Expresses Strong Disapproval Of "Toppling Of Statues", States Alerted

PM Expresses Strong Disapproval Of


NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed strong disapproval after the vandalism of statues in Tripura and Tamil Nadu. PM Modi, according to a government statement, spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh who has ordered states to act sternly to check such incidents.

A statue of Tamil icon EVR Ramasamy or Periyar was vandalized in Tamil Nadu's Vellore last night, hours after a BJP leader suggested it in his Facebook post responding to anger over a statue of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin being pulled down in Tripura.

This morning, a bust of BJP icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee was blackened and its features smashed with a hammer in Kolkata. Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the founder of the BJP's predecessor Jana Sangh.

The cycle of vandalism began after statues of Lenin were demolished in Tripura yesterday, allegedly by workers of the BJP, which ended the 25-year-long rule of the Left in the northeastern state on Saturday.

Responding to the outrage over the Lenin statues being razed, BJP leader H Raja declared that Periyar statues in Tamil Nadu could be next.

"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," said the post, which the BJP leader deleted and later disowned after a huge backlash in Tamil Nadu.

Today, H Raja "expressed regret" for his post and said: "Vandalising Periyar statues unacceptable. Facebook administration had posted that message without my permission. My intention was not to hurt anyone."

Two men have been arrested for vandalizing the Periyar statue at a municipal corporation office in Vellore. "One man is a BJP member and another a CPI worker, both drunk," the police said.

Hours later, a petrol bomb was thrown at a BJP office in Coimbatore by three bikers. No one was hurt.

After the incident, policemen are guarding a Periyar statue in Coimbatore.

Social activist Periyar had started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam, one of the first Dravidian outfits in the country.

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