Home / News / India /  Statue of Periyar found smeared with saffron dye; O Panneerselvam condemns

A statue of reformist leader E V Ramasamy Periyar here was found smeared with saffron dye on Sunday by unidentified miscreants, drawing strong responses from political leaders in Tamil Nadu. A slipper was also found near the statue at Samathuvapuram colony in Inamkulathur here early this morning, police said, adding, a case has been registered for defacing and vandalising the statue.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam condemned the vandalism and assured that stringent legal action would be taken against those involved. Political leaders, including DMK chief M K Stalin slammed the incident, the second such one in the state in recent months, after a statue of the rational leader was found daubed in saffron paint in Coimbatore.

Locals blocked traffic for some time on the Dindigul highway, protesting against the vandalism and dispersed after police assured them that action would be taken. Panneerselvam lashed out at the incident, and hailed the leader's struggle for ensuring social justice.

"Stringent legal action will be taken against those anti-social elements involved in the incident," he said in a tweet. Stalin slammed the defacing of the statue of the Dravidian stalwart and said people will "boycott" such persons. Periyar was not the leader of just a movement---Dravidar Kazhagam -- but that of Tamils, he said. "When are they going to realise that people will further boycott them if they repeatedly do the same mistake," he said in a Facebook post without naming anyone.

There have been repeated instances of Periyar statues being vandalised or desecrated in the recent past in the state. "Periyar is not the leader of just a movement. He is the leader of the Tamil race. Those who do such things thinking they are insulting him are insulting themselves," he said and strongly condemned the incident.

PMK leader S Ramadoss hit out at the defacing of the statue and demanded "strong action" against those involved. MDMK founder and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko, AMMK leader and independent MLA T T V Dhinakaran and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, MP, also criticised the latest episode of targeting Periyar's statue and demanded that such elements be dealt with strictly.

E V Ramasamy, fondly addressed by supporters and followers in the reverential term 'Periyar', led a popular self-respect movement in the state based on rationalist principles and is the founder of DMK's parent organisation, Dravidar Kazhagam.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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