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Updated on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 05:12 PM IST

Rise of vandalism cases in India: From Haryana church to Shivaji Maharaj statue in Karnataka; see list here

The vandalism has also resulted in protests from several groups and a demand for justice. In a few cases, it has also resulted in riots and communal violence.
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In yet another incident of indiscriminate communal violence, a few miscreants allegedly vandalised multiple statues at Haryana's Holy Redeemer Church on Christmas, Saturday, 25 December.

According to the local police, the attack on the Church, located at the state's Ambala district reportedly took place on Saturday night, reported news agency ANI.

The idol was said to be 173-year-old. Father Anthony of the church said that miscreants have broken the statue of Jesus Christ in the church premises. Religious sentiments of Christians have been hurt by this.

Several such incidents have taken place in India in this year itself where the statues of political leaders, freedom fighters, national heroes were vandalized by miscreants in different states, and in most cases, no arrests have been made. The vandalism has also resulted in protests from several groups and a demand for justice. In a few cases, it has also resulted in riots and communal violence.

Here is a list of vandalism cases that took place in 2021:

Karnataka:

Amid a row over the anti-conversion bill that has been tabled in the Karnataka Assembly, a church in Chikkaballapur district in southern Karnataka was vandalised, a statue of St Anthony was also damaged.

The incident took place on Dec 23 at the 160-year-old St Joseph's chapel in Susaipalya.

Delhi:

On Nov 28, 2021, a newly opened church in west Delhi’s Matiala was allegedly vandalised while devotees were holding Sunday mass.

According to locals, a group of 20 to 30 people were holding Sunday mass at Ankur Narula Church around 11 a.m., when a group of miscreants, allegedly belonging to Bajrang Dal, came and disrupted the proceedings. Further, they went on to vandalise the church’s entrance and signboard.

Karnataka and Maharashtra (Belagavi dispute):

Last week, pro-Kannada activists smeared ink on the face of MES leader Deepak Dalavi. Following this, Karnataka’s flag was burnt in Maharashtra and a Shivaji Maharaj statue in Bengaluru and a Sangolli Rayanna statue in Belagavi district were vandalised. Soon, protests erupted among farmers and Kannada activists, while Karnataka’s flag was burnt again, and an image of social reformer Basavanna smeared with ink in the Belagavi district. According to the state police, about 30 persons have been arrested so far in these cases.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has demanded immediate action on part of the Karnataka government in the matter; he has also sought PM Modi’s intervention to stop ‘Kannada atrocities’ and check the ‘pervert mindset.’

Uttar Pradesh:

A statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar was found damaged on the morning of 22 June 2021 in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur Asli village, the incident led to protests by locals who blocked the Gadwar-Nagra road. A case was registered and it was being told that necessary legal action would be taken against those behind the vandalism.

Assam:

A group of unknown miscreants vandalised a 20 years old statue of the nation’s father Mahatma Gandhi in Assam’s Goalapara district on 28 July 2021. The six feet statue is located in the BOC point of the Goalpara town.

The hate crime has sparked outrage among the public, who have demanded that the Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigate the incident as soon as possible.

Tamil Nadu:

An investigation was launched but no arrests were made.

In December this year, a statue of BR Ambedkar was vandalised in the nighttime, while Sunday morning, the right arm of the statue was found broken. The incident took place in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district.

The locals staged a ‘road roko’ (block the road) protest and demanded that immediate action be taken against the miscreants.

Uttar Pradesh:

Similarly, another BR Ambedkar statue was found broken on 16 June 2021 where a hand of the statue was found broken.

The incident took place in Dhoriya village, under the Rehra police station of Amroha.

According to villagers, chaotic elements tried to ruin the peace in the village as they broke the left hand of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s statue.

Telangana:

In another similar incident, in October 2021, some miscreants vandalised a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar at Bhainsa town in the Nirmal district of Telangana. The situation turned tense after incidents of stone-pelting and riots were reported. The leaders and activists of various Scheduled Caste organisations also staged a protest and rasta roko in front of the local bus stand.

(with inputs from sources)

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Published on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 05:12 PM IST
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