Chennai

Periyar statue vandalised in Kancheepuram district

Miscreants damaged a Periyar statue put up by local residents

Miscreants damaged a Periyar statue put up by local residents   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The face and hand of the statue in Kaliyapettai were damaged and the police have begun an investigation

Tension prevailed in Kaliyapettai in Kancheepuram district after a statue of social reformer Periyar was vandalised by miscreants.

The statue was installed by local residents 20 years ago, and was inaugurated by leaders of the Dravidar Kazhagam. The face and a hand of the statue were damaged. The damaged portions were subsequently covered with white cloth. Security was beefed up after the incident.

DMK and VCK cadre in the area staged protests demanding the arrest of the culprits. A complaint was lodged with the Salavakkam police. Senior police officers visited the spot and conducted a preliminary inquiry.

Director General of Police J.K. Tripathy warned that strong action would be taken against anti-social elements who vandalise statues of Periyar or other leaders.

Villagers suspect that fans of actor Rajinikanth may have vandalised the statue, in an apparent backlash to protests by Periyarist outfits against the actor over his remarks about an anti-superstition rally organised by Periyar in Salem in 1971. 

Defacement condemned

 Opposition parties have condemned the defacement of the statue.

DMK president M.K. Stalin said the incident was condemnable and shameful. “These kinds of incidents still persist. The Tamil Nadu government should take appropriate action against those who vandalised Periyar’s statue,” he said.

TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said Periyar was a leader of the nation. “He was instrumental in facilitating the development of backward and downtrodden communities. It is unfortunate that his statue was broken. The TNCC condemns it,” he said.

CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan alleged that communal forces were behind the incident. “Insulting him, breaking his statue, turning him into a topic of debate and these continuing activities are being carried out by communal forces. Those who believe that Periyar’s thoughts are a threat to their communal agenda are the ones who are indulging in these activities. If this continues, secular forces will take them head-on,” he said.

“Under this government, Periyar statues have been vandalised continuously. The police have been passive in finding the miscreants and bringing them to book. The Tamil Nadu government should change this and ensure the arrest of those responsible,” said MDMK leader Vaiko.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 10:53:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/periyar-statue-vandalised-in-kancheepuram-district/article30641723.ece

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