KOLKATA: In the latest incident of statue defacing and vandalism, a life-size statue of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, a prominent poet during the 19th century Bengal renaissance, was on Saturday found defaced in Raniganj of West Bengal's Purba Bardhaman district.
According to police and eye-witnesses, Dutt's face was smudged with red colour by unknown miscreants. The incident triggered condemnation in the political circles as also among the locals.
The act was initially discovered by morning walkers who then reported to the police.
The Asansol municipality workers then washed and cleaned the statue.
Dutt was one of the first Indians to write poems in English and converted to Christianity in his young age. A scholar - he knew a number of languages, including Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, Dutt was also a playwright.
Several incidents of statue vandalism have been reported from various parts of the country over the last few days.
Earlier in the day, the statue of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar was damaged with its head destroyed completely.
On Friday, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's statue was defaced in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur. The white statue was smeared with red colour.
Earlier, two statues of Vladimir Lenin was demolished in Tripura – one razed by mob at Sabroom Motor Stand in Agartala and another by a bulldozer at Belonia College Square in a Tripura town.
Following the vandalism of the idols of Communist icon, a statue of Dravidian ideologue ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy was damaged in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu. This was followed by defacing statues of Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee in Jadavpur University in West Bengal, Dr BR Ambedkar in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Mahatma Gandhi in Taliparamba in Kannur district of Kerala was defaced.
Miscreants also targeted Lord Hanuman's statue in Kharuav village in Uttar Pradesh's Balia. A poster was stuck on the idol.
With spikes in incidents of statue vandalism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned all such incidents and spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh for strict action against the guilty.
(With inputs from IANS)