A statue of social reformer and Dravidian movement icon E V Ramasamy, popularly know as “Periyar”, was found damaged in a village here today, the latest in a series of similar incidents of vandalism.
Unidentified persons cut off the head of the statue using a chisel and placed it near the roundtana, the local term to describe a roundabout, police said.
On receiving information, police and revenue department officials rushed to the spot.
The district authorities swung into action on hearing about the incident, carried out repair works and restored the statue to its original state by 8 am, they said.
The statue unveiled by Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani in 2013 is maintained by the district unit of the party.
A large contingent of police has been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
A case has been registered, police said.
Earlier, on March 6, a statue of the Dravidian leader was allegedly vandalised in the Vellore district and two persons were arrested.
The incident assumed political significance as it came after senior BJP leader H Raja indicated that statues of the rationalist leader could be the next to be pulled down after a statue of Communist icon Lenin was razed by suspected BJP workers in Tripura.
After coming under fire from political parties for his comments on Periyar, Raja had sought to blame his “Facebook administrator” for the gaffe and had expressed regret over the same.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also strongly condemned the incidents of vandalism of statues across the country and had said that stern action would be taken against those found guilty.