Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed a strong disapproval of the incidents of vandalism of statues in certain parts of the country and spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the matter.
The Home Ministry said it has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism and has directed state governments to take strong action.
A statue of communist epoch maker Vladimir Illyich Lenin was brought down at Belonia town in South Tripura on Monday, while a statue of iconic social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement EV Ramasamy ‘Periyar’ being vandalised in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district last night.
Jan Sangh co-founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s bust was also damaged in Kolkata on Wednesday.
In an advisory to all states and union territories, the Home Ministry said incidents of toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country and it has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism.
“The MHA has asked the states that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents,” it said.
The ministry said the state governments were told that persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law.
“Honorable Prime Minister has also spoken to the Home Minister in this regard,” the advisory said.
The advisory did not specifically mention Tripura but sporadic violence and clashes have been reported between rival political groups in the state after election results were declared on Saturday.
Early in the day, BJP president Amit Shah too tweeted on the issue, saying “any person associated with the BJP found to be involved with destroying any statue will face severe action from the party”.
“The recent issue on destroying of statues is extremely unfortunate. We as a party do not support the bringing down of anybody’s statue,” he said.
On Monday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and DGP AK Shukla and asked them to ensure peace and check violence till a new government is installed in the state.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba had also spoken to the DGP and asked them to take all possible steps to maintain law and order, check violence and restore peace and public order.
The ministry also assured that enough central and state forces were available at the disposal of the state government to tackle the situation.
(With inputs from PTI)