TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of Mookerjee Statue

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The Lenin statue that was brought down in Tripura’s Belonia on 5 March. 

Lenin Statue Razed Down by Right-Wing Supporting Vandals

On 6 March, a video emerged showing right-wing supporters razing down a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin with an excavator machine in the state’s Belonia town. The video shows the statue, located in the Belonia College Square, being torn down by people wearing t-shirts reading “Chalo Paltai”, while raising chants of “Bharat mata ki jai.”

The act was initially lauded by none other than the BJP’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav who tweeted (and later deleted the tweet) in favour of the act.

 TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of  Mookerjee Statue

Even the Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy seemed to have been in support of the violent act.

Tripura CPI(M) district secretary Tapas Datta said the five-feet-tall fibre glass statue, which was unveiled by the party's politburo member Prakash Karat a few months back, was pulled down allegedly by BJP workers on Monday, 5 March, at College Square in Belonia, about 110 kilometre from Agartala.

Superintendent of Police of South Tripura district, Monchak Ipper said the driver of the JCB excavator machine was arrested and later released on bail.

The statue would be handed over to the authorities of Belonia Municipal Corporation on Tuesday, the SP had said.

A number of other citizens, including politicians from other parties expressed shock at the violent nature of the act, which came just two days after the BJP’s victory in the state, stating that it was an indicator of the times to come.

The CPI(M) accused the BJP and the IPFT of unleashing an "unprecedented reign of terror" throughout the state after the election results were announced on 3 March.

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar claimed that 514 party activists were assaulted, 1,539 houses of the party activists were attacked and 196 houses set on fire since the announcement of results.

JD(U) MP Harivansh also condemned the incident. He told ANI, "This is wrong. People of this nation believe in different ideologies. It is true that Lenin's statues were demolished after end of ruling in Russia. But India is not Russia, all ideologies should be supported here. Lenin brought a huge revolution in 1917 for poor."

11:14 PM , 10 Mar

TMC, BJP Clash over "Purification" of Mookerjee Statue

The workers of the BJP and Trinamool Congress (TMC) clashed over the ''purification'' of a bust of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee at Serampore in West Bengal's Hooghly district on 10 March, PTI reported. Three were arrested in connection with the incident, the police said. The ''purification'' of the bust followed the defacement of another statue of Mookerjee in Kolkata on 7 March.

The clash took place on 9 March when BJP supporters had gathered at the RMS ground for the ''purification'' of the bust with milk and water, the police said, adding that a group of TMC workers stopped them and poured milk on the bust, the report added.

Nine BJP supporters, including the party's Serampore unit president Bhaskar Bhattacharya, were injured in the incident and admitted to the Walsh Hospital in Kolkata. Bhattacharya alleged that the TMC workers, led by two councillors, attacked the BJP workers and beat them up.

The BJP lodged an FIR at the Serampore police station in connection with the incident. The TMC, however, claimed that locals were involved in the clash.

3:49 PM , 10 Mar

BR Ambedkar's Statue Vandalised in Azamgarh, 3 Absconding

Amidst an ongoing spate of incidents that have targeted statues of prominent figures across India, the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in Azamgarh was vandalised in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh on Saturday, 10 March, ANI reported.

The statue’s head was damaged. Police reached the spot as soon as news of the incident came in. This is the second time Ambedkar's statue has been targeted by miscreants in Uttar Pradesh.

 TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of  Mookerjee Statue
(Photo: ANI)
 TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of  Mookerjee Statue
(Photo: ANI)

DIG Vijay Bhushan says "3 men have been identified, currently they are absconding, will be arrested soon."

 TMC, BJP Clash Over “Purification” of  Mookerjee Statue
(Photo: ANI)
8:39 AM , 09 Mar

Lenin Statue Was Not Vandalised in Tripura: Ram Madhav

Days after BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav, who had tweeted in favour of the vandalism of Lenin’s statue in Tripura and then later deleted it, finally broke his silence on the matter.

He told ANI:

Tripura mein koi murti todhi nahi gayi hai.Yeh dushprachar ho raha hai.Ek private property mein, jinhone murti lagayi unhone hatayi hai.Vandalism nahi hua hai.Vandalism Bengal mein ho raha hai.Mamata ji apne rajya ki chinta karein, desh ki chinta baad mein karein. (No statue was vandalised in Tripura. This is misinformation. The statue was in a private property and the owner removed the statue. The real cases of vandalism is happening in Bengal. Mamataji should worry about her own state first and then the country).

Even though the BJP leader claimed that the statue was removed by the owner of a private property, video footage from the incident showed men wearing t-shirts with ‘Chalo Paltai’ slogans, chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai.’

2:57 AM , 09 Mar

Protests at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata Over Syama Prasad Mookerjee's Statue

Protests erupted in the Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Thursday when a group of students burned effigies in front of the university. The protest was planned by students from right-wing group Hindu Jagran Manch against the varsity students’ involvement in defacing a statue of Mookerkee on Wednesday.

News 18 reported that some police officials were also injured in the clash that erupted following the protest, as some Leftist students confronted the right-wing supporters’ protest and outnumbered them outside the university.

Shyama Prasad Mookerjee’s statue was defaced on Wednesday in Kolkata’s Kalighat locality.

Published: 06 Mar 2018, 1:44 PM IST
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