Pudukottai : A statue of social reformer and Dravidian movement icon E V Ramasamy, popularly known as “Periyar”, was found damaged in a village here on Tuesday, the latest in a series of similar incidents of vandalism.
The head of the statue was found cut and placed near a traffic roundabout, police said, reports PTI.
The vandalism drew condemnation from Congress president Rahul Gandhi, DMK working president M K Stalin and top actor Rajinikanth.
Police said district authorities restored the statue to its original state within hours of the incident.
A large contingent of police has been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident, police said, adding a case has been registered.
Gandhi in a tweet said “when the RSS & BJP encouraged the tearing down of Lenin statues in Tripura, they signalled their cadres to destroy statues of those who opposed their ideology, like Periyar, the great social reformer who fought for the Dalits. His statue too was destroyed today in Tamil Nadu.”
He also posted a picture of a headless Periyar statue.
Stalin charged the government with being ‘just a spectator’ and said if appropriate action had been taken against BJP leader H Raja’s comments that Periyar statues should be removed, the vandalism could have been averted.
“This government is just a spectator and that is the truth,” he told reporters.
Rajinikanth, who is set to enter politics, said on his return here from his sojourn in Uttarakhand that “it is a barbaric act, I have said this before and I reiterate now, I strongly condemn it.”
Taking a break, the actor, who is set to enter politics, had embarked on his pilgrimage to Uttarakhand on March 10.