Deal strictly with those vandalising statues, Rajnath tells parties

Frederick Owens
March 11, 2018

Late on Tuesday, two persons - one of them R. Muthuraman, a BJP member - were arrested in Thirupattur in Vellore for vandalizing the statue of Periyar, considered the fatherfigure of the rationalist movement in Tamil Nadu.

The Home Ministry on Wednesday issued advisory to states' governments to prevent the incidents of toppling of statues across the country.

Trichy: The district witnessed widespread protests from various political parties following the contentious tweet of BJP leader H Raja declaring that the statues of Periyar would be pulled down like that of Lenin in Tripura, on Wednesday. The BJP worker who was reportedly involved in stoning Periyar's statue has been expelled by the party.

"The BJP should understand that even before political parties could react to Mr. Raja's comments, the people of Tamil Nadu opposed it vehemently", he said. "Today it is Lenin's statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic E.V. Ramasamy".

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Later, in a fresh Facebook post, Raja expressed his heartfelt regret for his Tuesday post which he claimed was a message posted by his social media administrator without his permission and hence he had removed it. Raja expressed regret for the earlier post which sparked outrage. Some then attacked the local BJP office in Coimbatore with petrol bombs. In what seems to be a tit-for-tat move, the bust of Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee has been defaced in Kolkata this morning.

"Two men, who were in inebriated condition, have been arrested for vandalising the statue at a municipal corporation office in Vellore".

The PM also spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh over the issue and expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents.

BJP's Tripura Pradesh Vice President Subal Bhowmik said that Amit Shah, BJP's National General Secretary Ram Madhav, General Secretary (Organisation) Ajay Jamwal and Assam minister and Tripura election-in-charge Himanta Biswa Sarma, among other leaders, "held a series of meetings with the state leaders to select the ministers, assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other important functionaries". Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law. The ministry said enough central and state forces were available at the disposal of the state government to tackle the situation. "People taking down Lenin's statue ... not in Russian Federation, it is in Tripura. The people of the State will not accept the hate politics of the BJP or let the party to further its ulterior motive", he said.

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