Act tough against those vandalising statues, state governments told

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New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Amid a wave of vandalisation of statues across the country, the Centre on Wednesday asked the state governments to make district magistrates and police chiefs “personally” responsible for the law and order situation, investigate the incidents of destruction of busts and act tough against the culprits.

The Union Home Ministry in its second advisory over the issue in a day asked the state governments to investigate such incidents promptly and book the culprits immediately.

The second advisory came in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction to contain vandalism and sternly deal with the culprits.

“Besides calling for close and continuous monitoring of the situation, it (the Home Ministry) has asked the states to take all possible measures to ensure that no such incident should be allowed to happen,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

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“The advisory asks the states to make DMs and SSPs personally responsible for ensuring that the law and order situation remains firmly under control in their jurisdiction.

“Intensification of patrolling in sensitive locations, community policing for peace and harmony, check on anti-social elements and preventive measures wherever required are the main elements of the advisory,” the statement said.

Earlier, Modi spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over incidents of toppling of statues in various parts of the country post the BJP’s victory in Tripura where Communist icon Lenin’s bust was bulldozed on Monday.

The Home Ministry then issued its first advisory to the states asking them to take all necessary precautions to prevent such incidents.

“Incidents of toppling of statues have been reported from certain parts of the country. Union Ministry of Home Affairs has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism,” a statement said.

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Rajnath Singh expressed strong disapproval of such incidents, according to the statement.

“Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with and booked under relevant provisions of law.”

Violence erupted in various parts of the country, including Tripura and West Bengal, after Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s statue was razed by BJP activists in southern Tripura.

In Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, iconic Dravidian leader E.V. Ramasamy or Periyar’s statue was vandalised on Tuesday.

A statue of Jana Sangh leader Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was targeted in West Bengal while a bust of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar was vandalised in Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

–IANS

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