Two held; police remove 105 agitating Congressmen
A statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, close to the Town Panchayat office at Thirumuruganpoondi near here was damaged by miscreants on Wednesday.
The right wrist of the statue was chopped and the nose and chin portions were damaged.
The damage was first noticed in the morning by Kumaravel who sculpted the statue in 2004. Mr. Kumaravel is also a Congress worker and involved in INTUC’s trade union activities.
As the news spread, Congress party workers rushed to the spot. Tense moments prevailed thereafter as Congressmen resorted to a road blockade agitation on Tirupur-Avinashi road. Shops and establishments in the area downed shutters fearing violence.
The Congress members demanded that the culprits should be brought to book as quickly as possible and police protection be given to statues of Congress leaders across the district.
The police removed 105 Congress members from the scene of protest and released them in the evening.
The damage to the statue happened a day before the total shutdown to be observed in Tirupur city and suburbs such as Thirumuruganpoondi by Tamil Ezha Viduthalaikkana Koottamaippu (TEVK), a confederation of 24 organisations that has been demanding that India boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka.
P. Gopi, Congress district president, told The Hindu that the police should have given protection to the statues of Congress leaders in the wake of the TEVK’s shutdown.
Inspector Syed Babu of Anupparpalayam police station said a case was registered under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (provocation with an intent to cause riot) read with Section 3 of Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.
Police arrested two persons in connection with the incident.