Statues vs vandals: After Lenin and Periyar, bust of Syama Prasad Mukherjee damaged

Incidents of vandalism targeting statues have increased in the last few days, prompting PM Narendra Modi to strong condemn such acts.

Statues vs vandals: After Lenin and Periyar, bust of Syama Prasad Mukherjee damaged
A police official and locals clean the bust of Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee after it was vandalised in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned incidents of vandalism targeting statues of historical figures, a bust of BJP founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee in Kolkata's Kalighat area was splattered with ink and a portion broken off.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning when a number of accused climbed a pedestal on which the bust of Mukherjee was placed. They then proceeded to smear black ink on it - breaking a portion of the face as well. They, reportedly students of Jadavpur University - then attempted to flee but bystanders nabbed them and called in local police. Among the accused are five men and one woman, and a poster placed beneath the bust proclaimed that it was an act in revenge for the razing of Lenin's statue in Tripura last week.

Meanwhile, the area around the bust was soon cordoned off and authorities are probing the entire incident even as BJP's state unit has demanded stern action.  "BJP West Bengal condemns barbaric act of vandalising statue of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Bharat Keshri's founder Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee. We demand very strong action against culprits," said Sayantan Basu, General Secretary, WB BJP.

Wednesday's incident comes close on the heels of similar acts of vandalism targeting historical figures, from other parts of the country. On Sunday, a statue of former Soviet leader Lenin was razed in Tripura while late on Tuesday, a statue of Periyar was vandalised. The incidents have been widely criticised by politicians cutting across party lines and have prompted PM Modi to issue a strong condemnation. He has even spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh regarding such deplorable acts.