The Kuniamuthur police cleaned the statue and have provided protection to the sculpture due to a tense situation prevailing in the region.

The Periyar statue with the saffron paint poured by miscreants in CoimbatoreTwitter
news Crime Friday, July 17, 2020 - 13:46

The Kuniamuthur police in Tamil Nadu have taken note of an incident where unidentified miscreants vandalised a statue of rationalist leader Periyar by pouring saffron colour on it. The incident which took place in Sundarapuram of Coimbatore district on Thursday, has created a flutter among locals. A 21-year-old man, Arun Krishnan, who belongs to the Bharat Sena outfit has reportedly surrendered to the police.

The man is reported to have poured a saffron mixture on the statue late on Thursday late night and when locals crossed the statue on Friday early morning, they said that they were shocked to see the vandalism of the statue. Following this, they informed the Kuniamuthur police, who reached the spot.

The Kuniamuthur police cleaned the statue and have provided protection to the sculpture due to a tense situation prevailing in the region.

A case has been registered under Sections 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Speaking to TNM, Inspector Sakthivel of Kuniamuthur police station said, “We received a complaint at 6 am in the morning and we have registered the case. We are also on a lookout for the accused.”

The members of Dravidar Kazhagam, meanwhile, staged a protest in front of the statue condemning the act by the miscreants and demanded action by the police. The police have begun a hunt for the miscreants based on CCTV footage.

Political leaders have also registered their condemnation over the act of vandalism. Fisheries Minister Jayakumar said, “We cannot accept the unlawful act of applying saffron colour to the Periyar statue. Vandalising the statue of leaders is a punishable offence.”

DMK MP Kanimozhi said, “Even decades after his demise, Periyar is still the one who sets the narrative. He is not a mere statue but the path to self respect and social justice, including to those who smear him with colours.”

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko said, “Under AIADMK rule, there have been continuous incidents of vandalism and damages on Periyar statues. The Tamil Nadu government should bring an end to this. The government should arrest the accused, produce them before the court and give them punishment.”

There have been several incidents of vandalism on Periyar statues across Tamil Nadu in recent times. On March 6, a Periyar statue was vandalized in Vellore. The incident took place following a controversial comment of BJP leader H Raja. However, the leader distanced himself from the comment that was posted from his account on social media. He said that his social media accounts were handled by various administrators.

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