Three members of the Dravida Vidudhalai Kazhagam have been arrested following the incident.

Salem Sankara mutt banner torn Retaliation for Periyar statue vandalism say cops
news Crime Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 20:49

In another ‘tit-for-tat’ incident, the banner of the Sankara mutt in Salem was torn on Tuesday, and a light in their campus damaged, allegedly by members of the Dravida Vidudhalai Kazhagam (DVK). The incident happened after a Periyar statue in Pudukkottai was vandalised in the wee hours of Tuesday by unidentified men.

Salem police tell TNM that the act of vandalism was primarily due to the incident at Pudukottai. But they do not discount the tension created by the Rama Rajya Rath Yatra either.

The mutt is located at Maravaneri in Salem. Three members of the DVK were arrested by the Hastampatti police after the incident.

"They came to the spot in a two wheeler and proceeded to remove the banner and then hit a light on the compound wall with a DVK flag. We have already increased security at sensitive areas in the city due to the Rath Yatra. But we did not expect this small mutt to become a target," said Salem Commissioner of Police K Shankar.

Krishnan (38), who is the Organiser of the DVK in Salem district, Rajendran (37) who is DVK's Nangavalli Town President and his deputy Manoj (30) were arrested by the police.

This is the latest in a series of incidents, kicked off by the remarks made by BJP national secretary H Raja on his verified Facebook account, following the razing of the Lenin statue in Tripura earlier this month. The post read, “Who is Lenin? What is his connection to India? What is the connection of communists to India? Lenin's statue was destroyed in Tripura. Today Lenin's statue, tomorrow Tamil Nadu's EVR Ramaswami's statue.”

While H Raja subsequently deleted the post, and claimed it was made by an admin without his permission, the remark had already set off a chain of vandalism in the state. Hours after the post was put up, a Periyar statue was vandalised in Vellore, and in retaliation, several petrol bombs were thrown at the BJP office in Coimbatore.

The vandalised Periyar statue was discovered in Pudukkottai in the wee hours of Tuesday even as TN braced itself for the Rama Rajya Ratha Yatra amidst much opposition.

Read: Miscreants vandalise Periyar statue in TN's Pudukkottai district

The villagers of Pudukkottai Viduthi noticed the damaged statue early in the morning and a tense situation prevailed in the village. Several members of the Dravida Kazhagam, DMK, VCK and Left cadres gathered at the scene and they raised slogans against Hindu outfits.

The Periyar statue was eight feet tall and made of cement. It was inaugurated of P Veeramani of the Dravidar Kazhagam in 2013.

Read: Ground report: Tension in Tenkasi as Rama Rajya Rath Yatra enters TN



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