A three-feet bust of BR Ambedkar, the father of India’s constitution and prominent most critic of the caste hierarchy, placed on a six-foot platform, which mysteriously came up in Bengaluru’s busy KR Market bus stand won’t be demolished.
The announcement was made by City Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun following a protest by 100 Dalit activists belonging to Bahujan Samaj Party, Bahujan Maha Sabha and other allied organisations staged at the Town Hall on Monday.
“The statue was installed without taking approvals. But we will not remove it as it may hurt people’s sentiments,” Gangambike said. The Mayor had earlier expressed her surprise in knowing how the structure came up overnight without anybody’s notice.
Arun Prasad, a social activist and BSP leader in the city who led the protests also submitted a memorandum to the office of G Parameshwara, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Karnataka. They argued that they installed the statue without due permission due to paucity of time as they wanted it ready by December 6, the death anniversary of Ambedkar.
The protests were called off after the announcement by the Mayor after which the protesters garlanded the statue.
It was earlier reported how the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had reported the “encroachment” to the police after Palike officials noticed the statue on December 6 to their surprise. In a police complaint, Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE), BBMP, HP Nagaraju of Kempegowda Nagar sub-division said that unidentified men had broken railings of the spot and installed a statue in violation of 2012 order prohibiting installation of statues at public spaces without prior notice.
Police could not trace the people who installed the statue even though the area is frequented on most parts of the day and is a stone’s throw away from the police outpost meant to keep a vigil at the KR Market area.