Dalits blocked the Meerut-Mawana road following the vandalism even as officials sought to calm down the protesters and assured them that a new Ambedkar statue would be put up
Meerut: A statue of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar was vandalised and replaced later in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, amid an ongoing spate of incidents targeting statues and busts of known figures across the country.
Following the incident, members of the Dalit community blocked the Meerut-Mawana road even as the administrative officials sought to calm down the protesters and assured them that the vandalised statue would be replaced with a new one.
The officials later said that a new Ambedkar statue had been installed.
According to police, the statue was installed by the Dalit community in Chhota Mawana several years ago. It was vandalised by some unidentified people late on Tuesday night. The incident sparked protests by members of the Dalit community.
On Wednesday, Mawana circle officer U.N. Mishra said that the situation is normal and the new statue of Ambedkar had been installed. He, however, added that no complaint was lodged in connection with the incident. Prima facie, it is case of a conspiracy, the officer said.
The vandalisation of Ambedkar statue comes after a series of such incidents targeting statues and busts across the country. A bust of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in Kolkata on Wednesday following the razing of statues of Soviet icon Vladimir Lenin in Tripura. A bust of Dravidian movement founder E.V. Ramasamy “Periyar" was also desecrated in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore, triggering widespread protests across the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the incidents of vandalism of statues and said that stern action would be taken against those found guilty.