Vellore: Hours after BJP leader H Raja threatened that statues of Dravidian icon and social reformer EVR Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar, too would be pulled down, two drunk men vandalised a Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district on Tuesday night.
The incident follows the razing of a statue of Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin in Tripura
According to reports, the statue of Periyar, social reformer and founder of Dravidian movement, located inside the Tirupattur corporation office, was targeted around 9 pm. The glasses and nose of the statue were damaged in the attack.
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 have been arrested, the police said, adding that while Muthuraman was suspected to be a BJP worker, Francis is believed to be a CPI activist.
It was in Tripura, where BJP won the recent assembly elections, that the first incident of a statue being razed surfaced.
Following BJP’s win where the patyu ended the 25-year-long rule of the Left in the northeastern state, two statues of Lenin were found demolished, allegedly by workers of the BJP.
Also Read: Poll aftermath: Lenin statue knocked down in Tripura, Rajnath intervenes
BJP leader H Raja said in a Facebook post in Tamil said, "Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin's statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of EV Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu."
Also Read: BJP leader H Raja deletes post warning Periyar statue will be pulled down too
While the post was subsequently deleted by H Raja, it drew condemnation from several political parties in the state. Political parties including DMK, MDMK and the Left lashed out at Raja, a BJP National Secretary, with DMK Working President M K Stalin leading the charge seeking his detention under the 'Goondas Act'.
BJP's Raja was referring to the pulling down of a statue of communist icon Lenin by some persons using an excavator machine at Belonia in South Tripura district, days after the BJP defeated CPI (M) in the closely fought assembly polls.
The CPI(M) has held BJP workers responsible for pulling down the statue of Lenin.
Raja has reportedly said someone else had inadvertently posted it on his page.
BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan had distanced the party from the controversial remarks.
Statues of Communist icons like Lenin, the Chinese revolutionary Mao, and German revolutionary socialist Marx, were installed in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, where the Left was in power.
(With inputs from PTI)