Syama Prasad Statue vandalism: Clash erupts between BJP, Trinamool Congress

Clay Curtis
March 9, 2018

An attempt by BJP activists on Thursday to "purify" the vandalised statue of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in Kolkata came a cropper as police and Trinamool Congress supporters prevented them from reaching the spot. The protestors condemned the defacing of the statue and demanded stern action against the guilty. The Prime Minister spoke to the Home Minister in this regard and expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents. Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with & booked under relevant provisions of law.

"Who is Lenin? What is the relevance he holds in India? These incidents can never be justified", Singh told reporters outside Parliament.

On Sunday, two statues dedicated to Vladimir Lenin were pulled down by a mob in Tripura, days after the Bharatiya Janata Party ended the 25-year reign of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the recent state assembly election.

Condemning the incident, the state BJP leadership demanded strong action against the offenders and claimed that Mukherjee's contribution to Bengal politics can not be erased thus. "Lenin's statues were destroyed in Tripura, tomorrow, in Tamil Nadu, casteist Periyar's statues will be destroyed", he wrote. According to an official statement, Prime Minister Modi "has strongly disapproved reported incidents of vandalism in parts of the country".

"We want to give away the message that you just can't take away the contribution of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee in building West Bengal by this shameful act and we will rebuild the statue with more grace", he added. I have spoken to the party units in both Tamil Nadu and Tripura.

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He said his "Facebook admin" had put up a post comparing the razing down of Lenins statue in Tripura to that of Periyar. "Therefore, if anybody felt hurt by that post, I express my heartfelt regret", he said.

However, his apology failed to smooth the ruffled feathers of political parties and pro-Tamil outfits. Police detained scores of protestors, including some who tried to lay siege to the state BJP headquarters in Chennai. The post was deleted from the site following the attack on the statue.

Such acts need to be condemned by all parties, said CPIs D Raja. A petrol bomb was hurled at the office and a police inquiry in the matter was underway.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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