27th September 2020
TIRUCHY: A bust of Dravidian leader Periyar at the entrance of a Samathuvapuram in Inamkulathur village near Tiruchy city was found desecrecrated in the wee hours of Sunday by unknown miscreants who had poured saffron paint on the bust and garlanded it with slippers.
Police, aided by local residents cleaned the bust and launched a probe into the incident, with three special teams on the job. Political leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and DMK chief M K Stalin strongly condemned the action. Some political outfits also staged a road block in the village, demanding the miscreants be arrested.
The incident came to light early Sunday morning, when residents of the Periyar Memorial Samathuvapuram found that the bust had been covered in saffron paint and garlanded with slippers.
Manikandam police arrived at the spot and cleaned up the bust with the help of residents. The police believed that the incident might have occurred at around 4 am. “We have deputed three special teams to investigate the incident from various angles. We will nab the miscreants soon,” said Jayachandran, Tiruchy Superintendent of Police.
With the news of the incident going viral on social media, supporters of Periyar and cadres of various political parties gathered at the village and staged a road block for almost 30 minutes. The protesters demanded the cops take swift and stringent action against the violators. DMK, Dravidar Kazhagam, and DYFI also staged a protest in the city, pressing similar demands.
Panneerselvam said that the government would take stern action against those involved in the crime. “Periyar was a rationalist leader who fought for social justice. I strongly condemn the desecration committed by miscreants to disrespect his bust in Tiruchy,” he said on Twitter.
Stalin also took to Twitter to condemnthe act. “Periyar was not just a leader of a movement, he is a leader of the Tamils as a whole. Those who want to disrespect Periyar by doing such acts are actually disrespecting themselves. When will they understand that by making the same mistake again and again they will only be rejected by the people,” he tweeted.
DMK principal secretary, KN Nehru, speaking to reporters in Tiruchy, said incidents like this only served to boost the image of the Dravidian leader.
This is the second such incident that has occurred in the central districts this month. On September 3, a Periyar bust in Ariyalur district was found smeared with tar, although police had believed it to be the work of local children.