Tension gripped Balajinagar at Shamirpet on Friday after some unidentified persons torched the statue of former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao on Thursday night.
Miscreants set fire to the statue made of fibre and fled from the spot. Milk vendors, who noticed smoke near the statue, alerted Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, who said that the miscreants had poured petrol on the statue before setting it afire.
A few days ago, miscreants had torched the cut-outs of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in a similar manner in the locality.
Police suspect that the same gang might have been involved in the two incidents.
They added that efforts were on to gather more details from party leaders to trace the offenders.
Rajya Sabha member T. Devender Goud, MLA Mynampally Hanumantha Rao and former legislators Talasani Srinivas Yadav and G. Sayanna were among those who visited the spot and condemned the incident. TDP workers also staged protest demonstrations.
Mr. Goud said that necessary steps would be taken to re-install the statue at the same place after the completion of the padayatra by party President N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Tough action needed
Mr. Naidu said the destruction of the statue would not have taken place if the government had taken strong measures against similar incidents in the past.
The statues of B.R. Ambedkar, Potti Sriramulu and NTR had become the targets of vandalism recently, but the government has failed to take action against the culprits.
The destruction of statues amounted to destroying the history of the nation because they were set up in memory of the services rendered by eminent persons, Mr. Naidu said in a press release.