Taking a serious view of the desecration of statues in various parts of the country, the Union Home Ministry has issued a second advisory on Wednesday, its second in the day. As per the advisory, the district magistrates and superintendents of police will be “personally responsible” for such incidents of vandalism.
The fresh advisory came a few hours after the ministry, in its first advisory, told all states and union territories that incidents of toppling and damaging of statues must be checked immediately and stern action should be taken to prevent such incidents.
“The DMs and SPs will be personally held responsible for any such incidents of vandalism of statues,” a home ministry official said, quoting the second advisory.
The state governments and union territories are also told to ensure that DMs and SPs take all possible action to control the law and order situation in their areas of jurisdiction. They are further advised to monitor the situation closely and take stringent action like arrests, prompt investigation and prosecution of the accused.
The DMs and SPs were told that they must ensure that the police keep strict vigil on anti-social elements, social media and rumour-mongers, the official said.
The home ministry, in its second advisory, also reiterated the earlier directions on damage of statues and advised preventive action, including patrolling and firm control over anti-social elements.
However, no state government has sought additional paramilitary forces, the officials told.
Earlier in the day, Prime Narendra Modi had also expressed his strong disapproval of incidents of vandalism of statues and spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the matter. The home minister has appealed to political parties to ensure that those found desecrating statues are dealt with strictly.
Two statues of Communist icon Lenin were brought down in Tripura on Monday, while a statue of social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement EV Ramasamy Periyar was also allegedly vandalised in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district last night.
Jan Sangh co-founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s bust was also vandalised in Kolkata this morning.
(With inputs from PTI)