In a series of incidents of statue vandalism, miscreants in West Bengal's Kalighat on Wednesday painted the bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee black.
Local residents have claimed that students of the prestigious Jadavpur University tried to vandalise the bust and painted its face black. The police have arrested six people after the incident.
The West Bengal government said that the incident was not acceptable. "One incident of vandalism cannot be replied with another similar incident, we condemn both. We have arrested six people and we will repair it (SP Mukherjee's bust in Kalighat) as well," Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, West Bengal Minister told media on Wednesday.
One incident of vandalism cannot be replied with another similar incident, we condemn both. We have arrested six people and we will repair it(SP Mukherjee's bust in Kalighat) as well: Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, West Bengal Minister pic.twitter.com/80hD8PDAay— ANI (@ANI) March 7, 2018
Meanwhile, the West Bengal wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party has condemned the incident.
"BJP West Bengal condemns barbaric act of vandalising statue of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Bharat Keshri's founder Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee at Keoratola Mohasoshan, Kolkata. We demand very strong action against culprits," Sayantan Basu, General Secretary, WB BJP said.
Sidharth Nath Singh, WB BJP In-charge, demanded an immediate action against the miscreants.
"Syama Prasad Mukherjee is a patriot who laid his life for the nation. He is the son of West Bengal. Those guilty should be arrested immediately. CM Mamata Banerjee should punish those who vandalised his statue. We strongly condemn this incident," he said.
Syama Prasad Mukherjee is a patriot who laid his life for the nation. He is son of #WestBengal. Those guilty should be arrested immediately. CM Mamata Banerjee should punish those who vandalised his statue. We strongly condemn this incident: Sidharth Nath Singh, WB BJP In-charge pic.twitter.com/4lA9vr00nk— ANI (@ANI) March 7, 2018
On Tuesday, two statues of communist icon Vladimir Lenin were brought down in South Tripura. A five-foot-high fibreglass statue of Lenin was toppled at Belonia on Monday, while a smaller figure was razed at Sabroom two days ago, district superintendent of police Monchak Ipper said. CPI(M), which recently lost its last bastion Tripura to BJP in assembly polls, blamed the newly-elected party and its workers for the act of vandalism.
A similar incident was also reported from Tamil Nadu, where a statue of social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement EV Ramasamy "Periyar" was allegedly vandalised in Vellore district.
The incident, which the police claimed was perpetrated by two drunk men, assumed political significance as it came after a BJP leader indicated that statues of the rationalist leader could be the next to be pulled down after an iconic Lenin statue was razed by suspected BJP workers in Tripura.
A senior district police officer said that two people, identified as Muthuraman and Francis, damaged the bust at Tirupattur in an inebriated state.
The duo has been arrested, the police said, adding that while Muthuraman was suspected to be a BJP worker, Francis is believed to be a CPI activist.
Watch video: After Lenin, Periyar, Shyama Prasad Mujkherjee statue vandalised in Kolkata