Syama Prasad Mukherjee's bust vandalised; PM expresses strong disapproval

Desecrated bust

Syama Prasad Mukherjee's bust vandalised; PM expresses strong disapproval

CPI (M) workers vandalised and blackened the statue of Bhartiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee in Kolkata's Kalighat area in West Bengal on Wednesday.

In yet another incident of statue vandalism, a figurine dedicated to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was desecrated by unidentified people in Mawana, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday night. "Today Lenins statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of EV Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu". On Sunday, a statue of former Soviet leader Lenin was razed in Tripura while late on Tuesday, a statue of Periyar was vandalised.

"Who is Lenin? What is the relevance he holds in India?" But the BJP leader claimed that it was done without his knowledge or concurrence by the group administrator.

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"Views should be confronted by views only and not by violence".

The Kolkata Police on Wednesday morning detained six persons, including a woman in connection the incident. He further said BJP should expel H Raja for his "casteist Periyar" post, which was put up hours before the Periyar statue was vandalised in Tamil Nadu. Mukherjee was elected to Parliament from South Kolkata constituency.

A senior officer of the Tollygunge police station said the accused were spotted damaging the bust and splattering black ink on it.

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They Left a poster stating "this is the revenge for whatever was done in Tripura". BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said, "If we are not allowed by the state government to perform the purification ceremony, state-wide dharna will be staged". The district administration pacified the protesters by assuring them that it would soon install a new statue of the Dalit icon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly condemned the vandalism and defacing of statues across states in India.

The PM also spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh over the issue and expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents. I have spoken to the party units in both Tamil Nadu and Tripura. The home ministry has asked the states that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. Mr Rajnath Singh also appealed "to everyone, all parties, that anyone indulging in such acts should be dealt with strictly".

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BJP chief Amit Shah termed the incidents "extremely unfortunate", and asserted that any party member found involved in such acts will face severe action.

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