As vandalism of statues of political leaders trigger protests in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed condemnation and warned of action against the culprits.
The cycle of vandalism began when supporters of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party pulled down two statues of Communist icon Vladimir Lenin in the north-eastern state of Tripura on Monday.
In a tit-for-tat move, a bust of Hindu right-wing leader Syama Prasad Mookerjee was blackened and its features smashed with a hammer in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata on Wednesday.
“Incidents of toppling of statues have been reported from various parts of the country.
“Prime Minister Modi spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and has expressed his strong disapproval of such incidents,” a statement issued by the PM’s Office said.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked states to take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law,” the
In more such attacks, a statue of iconic Tamil leader EVR Ramasamy was vandalised in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday night, hours after a BJP leader’s apparent threat that Ramasamy’s statues will meet the same fate as that of Lenin.
A number of protests have taken place in cities in what Indian media dubbed ideologically driven “statue wars.”
While communist parties held rallies against the targeting of Lenin’s statues in cities like Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram, protests were also reported from Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.