After Lenin in Tripura, it’s Periyar in TN

Two drunk men, Muthuraman and Francis, damaged the bust at Tirupattur; while they are not affiliated to any party, the incident has acquired a political hue because BJP leader H Raja had, earlier in the day, indicated that Periyar's statue could be targeted next

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Vellore: A statue of social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement EV Ramasamy ‘Periyar’ was allegedly vandalised in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district tonight, police said. The incident, which the police claimed was perpetrated by two drunk men, assumed political significance as it came after a BJP leader indicated that statues of the rationalist leader could be the next to be pulled down after a statue of communist icon Lenin was razed by a mob in Tripura.

A senior district police officer said that two people, identified as Muthuraman and Francis, damaged the bust at Tirupattur in an inebriated state.

The duo has been arrested, the police said, adding that while Muthuraman was suspected to be a BJP worker, Francis is believed to be a CPI activist.

Earlier today, BJP leader H Raja said in a Facebook post in Tamil said, “Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin’s statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of EV Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu.”

The post was subsequently deleted. It drew condemnation from several political parties in the State. Political parties including DMK, MDMK and the Left lashed out at Raja, a BJP National Secretary, with DMK Working President M K Stalin leading the charge seeking his detention under the Goondas Act.

BJP’s Raja was referring to the pulling down of a statue of communist icon Lenin by some persons using an excavator machine at Belonia in South Tripura district, days after the BJP defeated CPI (M) in the closely fought assembly polls.

The CPI(M) has held BJP workers responsible for pulling down the statue of Lenin.

BJP’s State unit distanced itself from the issue, saying it was Raja’s personal view.

PTI