WATCH: Statue war continues; BR Ambedkar's statue damaged in UP's Meerut, officials replace it with new one

After statues of Lenin, Periyar, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee were vandalised in separate incidents across India, a statue of Dalit icon Bababsaheb Ambedkar has been vandalised by unknown miscreants, say TV reports.

According to India Today, a statue of Ambedkar was damaged by unidentified miscreants in Meerut. The report added that the incident might have taken place at night.

CNN-News18 reported that the local administration immediately swung into action to curb any tensions in the area. According to the report, the administration quickly replaced the statue with a new one.

Politics around vandalism of prominent statues have escalated in the last two days ever since a group of alleged BJP supporters brought down the statue of Soviet Russia's founder Vladimir Lenin in Tripura. The incident took place just two days after the BJP defeated the Left Front to emerge victorious in the Tripura Assembly elections.

However, even before the issue could settle in, controversy erupted in distant Tamil Nadu, where BJP leader H Raja said that Dravidian social reformer Periyar could be next target.

"Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin's statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of EV Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu", Raja had said in the Tamil post in facebook that had been deleted.

As Raja's Facebook post against late Ramasamy, founder of the Dravidian movement, drew condemnation from several political parties in the state, Raja deleted it while BJP's state unit distanced itself from the issue, saying it was his personal view.

Political parties including DMK, MDMK and the Left lashed out at Raja, a BJP National Secretary, with DMK Working President MK Stalin leading the charge seeking his detention under the 'Goondas Act'.

Just hours after the post, two persons were arrested at Tirupattur in the district for allegedly vandalising a statue of Periyar. A senior district police official said the two vandalised a bust-size statue of the Dravidian rationalist in an inebriated state. Police identified the arrested as Muthuraman and Francis.

The vandalism of Lenin's statue in Tripura came under fire from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday. ''I am against the CPI(M) and Marx or Lenin are not my leaders. I have always protested against the atrocities of the CPM. Similarly, I will also not accept the BJP's atrocities."

A day later, a statue of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised by unidentified men in south Kolkata. The statue was found partially damaged and its face blackened. A poster was also found from the spot with the word "radicals" written on it.

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Published Date: Mar 07, 2018 14:36 PM | Updated Date: Mar 07, 2018 14:55 PM

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