Periyar's statue found smeared with saffron colour in Tamil Nadu

PTIUpdated: Friday, July 17, 2020, 06:19 PM IST
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Coimbatore/Chennai: A statue of social reformer E V Ramasami 'Periyar' was found daubed with saffron colour at Coimbatore on Friday and police are on the lookout for the miscreants behind it.

After the incident came to light, workers of DMK, MDMK and VCK protested demanding action and parties, including the ruling AIADMK and main opposition DMK strongly condemned the desecration.

Police said they were probing the matter and assured immediate action.

The defilement, suspected to have occurred during the wee hours at Sundarapuram in the city, led to tension and anxiety and a posse of policemen -including two sporting protective gear against coronavirus- was deployed at the spot.

The colour, on a portion of the statue, around the right arm and waist, was removed by Periyar's followers with police help.

Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said such despicable acts can never be accepted, adding it was a punishable offence.

DMK president M K Stalin said Periyar had slogged for "small men" as well, (seen as a reference to those behind sullying the statue by pouring paint) and that was why he was being hailed as "Periyar" (great man).

MDMK chief Vaiko demanded that the government act "responsibly" and take action.

He condemned the "continuous targeting of Periyar's statues in Tamil Nadu."

The PMK, an ally of the ruling AIADMK demanded stern action against the miscreants and described the desecration as an act of cowardice.

The desecration by miscreants comes against the backdrop of the arrest of two men, followers of Periyar's atheist ideology, for alleged denigration of 'Kanda Sashti Kavacham,' a popular, Tamil hymn held sacred and recited every day by millions of devotees in Tamil Nadu in praise of Lord Muruga/Skanda.

The desecrated statue, unveiled in 1995, was one of the three statues of the social reformer in the city.

CPI district secretary V S Sundaram said defacing the statue of Periyar was not acceptable and urged police to take immediate action and arrest the 'anti-social elements'.

DMK MLA N Karthik also condemned the incident and said that this could be an attempt to destroy peace in Tamil Nadu.

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