There seems to be no end to the politics of vandalism of statues with yet another incident being reported from West Bengal. In the latest addition to this continuing string of incidents, the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was vandalised on Wednesday night by some unknown miscreants in Kolkata’s Narkeldanga area triggering protests by local people.
A formal complaint was registered with the local police station against unknown persons by a follower of Forward Bloc. “The bust of Netaji was damaged probably last evening or last night. Some of the residents spotted it this morning and it was brought to our notice. We are looking into the matter,” a senior official of Kolkata Police told news agency PTI.
The statue was constructed inside a children’s park. “We have lodged a complaint at the police station. We want the police to take action against the culprits within 24 hours. Otherwise, we will start demonstrations outside the police station,” said General Secretary of Forward Bloc Youth wing, Sudipto Banerjee.
The police have covered the vandalised statue with a piece of cloth until it is restored to its former form. The work to rebuild it will begin soon.
Many statues of noted political leaders and freedom fighters were vandalised across the country this year. In March, a number of such incidents took place across West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura etc. In West Bengal, the statue of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Jan Sangh was vandalised. In Tamil Nadu, the statues of BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi and EVR Ramasamy were attacked. In Tripura, the statue of Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and Jan Sangh founder Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were defaced.
The incident had forced the Prime Minister to intervene. In a statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he strongly disapproved of these incidents and directed the officials to take stern action against the accused. “Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of the law,” the PMO said in a statement.
The Ministry of Home affairs also had ordered all states to take effective action to prevent such incidents. “Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law,” the Home Ministry had said in a statement.