Early on Monday morning, a Periyar statue near Aranthangi Government Hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district was found vandalised. The statue of the late DMK leader, that was instituted outside the Government Hospital in 1998, stood beheaded – the head lay in pieces on the ground. The incident has shocked and angered many in the area.
DMK chief MK Stalin has sought appropriate action against the miscreants.
புதுக்கோட்டை மாவட்டத்தில் பகுத்தறிவு பகலவன் தந்தை பெரியார் சிலையை காலிகள் சிதைத்து இருக்கிறார்கள்.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) April 8, 2019
தேர்தல் நேரத்தில் அமைதியைக் குலைக்கும் விதத்தில் ஈடுபட்ட நாசகார சக்திகள் யாராக இருந்தாலும் கடும் நடவடிக்கை எடுப்பதோடு, தயவுதாட்சண்யமின்றி, இரும்புக்கரம் கொண்டு நசுக்கப்பட வேண்டும்! pic.twitter.com/ju83hfFabW
Speaking to TNM, Aranthangi DSP Ravindran said, “We are trying to deduce what must have happened late last night. We have accessed CCTV footage that has captured 50-metres away from the statue. Another team is investigating the other entry and exit points.”
Adding that this is an unprecedented incident in Aranthagi, DSP Ravindran says the incident might have taken place between 12.00 and 4.00 am on Monday.
However, a similar case of vandalism was reported from Alangudi in Pudukottai, about 30 kilometres away from Aranthangi in March last year. Here too, Periyar’s statue was found beheaded with the head placed intact near the body.
Over a year ago, another case of vandalised Periyar statue was reported from Vellore. This act came soon after BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu celebrated the fall of the Communist government in Tripura, while issuing a warning to Dravidian parties in 2018.
This incident resulted in a fallout and within hours, petrol bombs were hurled in a BJP office in Coimbatore. Two men, Muthuraman and Francis, were arrested for the statue vandalism and four members of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK) were arrested for the bombing incident.
Born Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy and fondly referred to as Thanthai Periyar, the political leader from Tamil Nadu played a pivotal role in shaping and defining the Dravidian movement. He is also known as the Father of the Dravidian Movement.