Tension prevailed at Simpson junction on arterial Anna Salai in Chennai on Monday after the statue of rationalist leader Periyar was desecrated by a miscreant during his 140th birth anniversary. Similar incident at Dharapuram in Tirupur district in the state also caused some tense moments.
Alert leaders and cadres of VCK, who had gathered to pay floral tributes to Periyar’s statue in Simpson junction, managed to nab the miscreant and thus prevented the possible flare up of emotions.
Reports reaching the police headquarters here said, the statue of Periyar was also desecrated at Tirupur where a miscreant had placed a chappal on the statue. In this case, the police intervened on time and removed it. A search is on to nab the culprit.
In Chennai, the incident occurred when VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan arrived to garland the statue. All of a sudden an unidentified man who came on a two-wheeler, hurled his shoe at the statue and shouted slogans. VCK supporters immediately caught hold of him and attacked. However, police present at the spot intervened and took the man into their custody. He was later identified as Jagadesh an advocate from Ekattuthangal, here. He was later arrested.Protesting against the incident Thirumavalavan and his supporters staged an agitation. They dispersed after police assured to take appropriate action against the culprit. Traffic was affected for about ten minutes as a result of the incident.
Leaders of various po-litical parties, including the ruling AIADMK and the Opposition DMK, condemned the incident and demanded stern action against the troublemaker.”Insulting the statue of Periyar is akin to insulting the people of Tamil Nadu. Amma’s (late Jayalalithaa) government will not tolerate such acts. They (the culprits) will be brought to book. Stern action will be taken against them,” fisheries minister D. Jayakumar who condemned the incident said and assured that necessary action would be taken on the culprit.
DMK president and leader of the Opposition in Assembly M. K. Stalin strongly condemned the incident and demanded the arrest of the culprit under the National Security Act (NSA). In a statement here, he said, on a day when Periyar’s birth anniversary was being observed to pay gratitude for ensuring social justice and self-respect, some narrow minded persons, under the pretext of insulting Periyar, was indulging in barbaric acts to disrupt peace in the State.
Strongly condemning the desecration of Periyar statues at Tirupur and Chennai, Stalin alleged that communal forces were behind such incidents. Demanding tough action against the culprits, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) chief K. Veeramani said Periyar cannot be defamed by hurling footwear at his statue.Meanwhile, floral tributes were paid to the rationalist leader by the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam, state ministers and leaders of various political parties on Monday.