A statue of Sangh ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee was damaged today in Kolkata. This incident of vandalism has followed after two Lenin statues were toppled in Tripura and a Periyar bust was vandalised in Tamil Nadu.
Kolkata police have detained five supporters of a Left-wing group called Radical for the alleged vandalism. The incident took place at around 8 am near Keoratolla crematorium. Miscreants used a hammer and a chisel to damage parts of the bust. They then blackened it. A poster was also placed signed ‘RADICAL’, an ultra-Left student outfit. The group, five men and a woman, chanted slogans protesting against the razing of Lenin’s statue in Tripura.
“Our chief minister already said that we will not tolerate damaging statues. It is a shameful act. However, we are happy that the miscreants were arrested by the police. Locals alerted the police. In Bengal, we will not allow such things to happen. This is not in our culture. We condemn what happened in Tripura and we also condemn what happened here,” said Shovondeb Chatterjee, Trinamool Congress MLA, who visited the spot soon after.
The students claim to be from Jadavpur University. “We have arrested some persons and interrogation is on,” said an officer of Kolkata Police.
“BJP West Bengal condemns barbaric act of vandalising statue of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Bharat Keshri’s founder Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee at Keoratola Mohasoshan, Kolkata. We demand very strong action against culprits,” Sayantan Basu, General Secretary, West Bengal BJP
The vandalism comes two days after a statue of Vladimir Lenin was razed in Tripura — following the end of a 25-year Left rule after they faced defeat by the BJP — and a day after a statue of Periyar was vandalised in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, condemned the violence and expressed his ‘strong disapproval’.
“Incidents of the toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country. Ministry of home affairs has taken serious notes of such incidents of vandalism. The Prime minister also spoke to Home minister in this regard and has expressed his strong disapproval for such incidents, reported a statement issued by the ministry.