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Bhopal tense after Ambedkar statue sullied

Oct 22, 2007 04:16 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Parts of Bhopal are tense after a statue of Dalit icon, Bhim Rao Ambedkar was allegedly desecrated.

The statue in the Bagh Mughalia area was allegedly desecrated by a member of the Ahirwar community. Strangely enough Ahirwars are followers of Ambedkar and so it's not clear what the motive behind the act was.

Police intervened when angry members of the community proceeded to attack the house of the accused. The protestors clashed with the police and attacked vehicles and the police had to resort to a mild lathicharge and tear gas shelling.

The protestors were trying to set fire to the house of the person who committed the desecration act.

This is not the first time that an Ambedkar statue has been sullied.

Protests over damage to Ambedkar's statue in Kanpur sparked violence in Maharashtra in November 2006, in which one person died.

In December, 2006, another Ambedkar statue was sullied in the Allahabad University premises, close on the heels of the Kanpur incident. The statue of the Dalit leader, whose 50th death anniversary was observed just a few days before the incident, was found damaged on the university's law faculty premises.

In January, 2007 another statue of Ambedkar was damaged in Gunarsa village in Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh by some unidentified persons. Police had registered a case following the incident, which led to some tension in the village.

In January again, another Ambedkar statue was desecrated, this time at the Pataudi village in Gurgaon, by unidentified miscreants. An FIR was lodged and the state administration assured the villagers that a new statue would be erected at the same place soon.