Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said on Thursday that two brass finials that “are as old as the Red Fort”, an interpretation centre that was under construction, and the Republic Day Parade tableaux that were stationed at the Red Fort were damaged in the violence that broke out during Tuesday’s farmers’ rally.
Mr. Patel, who visited the Red Fort on Wednesday to take stock of the situation, said the gate of the monument was broken, six or seven blocks of the interpretation centre on the first floor were “destroyed” and lighting equipment lying outside was damaged. He said two brass finials from the flagpole where the Tricolour flies permanently were “missing” after the violence. An Archaeological Survey of India official, however, said the broken finials were found on the premises later.
Terming the incident unfortunate, Mr. Patel said the ASI had filed a police complaint and sought action under Section 30 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 that prescribed penalties for damage to protected sites.
Mr. Patel said the tableaux, which are displayed at the Red Fort after the parade for the public to see, were damaged. He said the “Ram mandir” tableau — Uttar Pradesh’s first prize-winning tableau depicting the Ram temple — and the Culture Ministry’s tableau were among those damaged.
A senior Delhi Police officer said: “We have registered an FIR under sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to damaging public property at Kotwali police station against the protesters who caused damage to the monument on Republic Day.”