Unidentified miscreants in Andhra Pradesh’s Pedagantyada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam city allegedly vandalised a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar. Police said that the incident happened in the late hours of Tuesday night. Images of the statue show parts of its nose and one ear broken off.
A complaint was filed by one G Gurumurthy, a resident of the area, and the President of the Babu Jagjivan Ram Welfare Society, demanding that a thorough enquiry be conducted and the accused be arrested.
The incident also sparked off protests as a few locals raised slogans and demanded justice at the spot. It also upset many as it came to light on the eve of Ambedkar’s death anniversary, which falls on December 6.
The police have registered a case under relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Section 427 (Mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Speaking to TNM, Pedagantyada SHO Somashekar said, “The investigation is ongoing and we have taken stock of the situation. We are yet to ascertain when the incident took place. Further details will be revealed soon.” The case is being supervised by a DSP rank officer.
This is not the first such incident to take place in the state this year.
In April, Dalits of Keshanakuru, a tiny village in East Godavari’s Polavaram Island woke up to the news that an Ambedkar statue in the area was demolished overnight. The incident had occurred four days after the leader’s 127th birth anniversary.
The incident had triggered massive tension in the village and security was beefed up in the region at the time. The incident in Keshanakuru had also come shortly after an Ambedkar statue in Siricilla Rajanna district in Telangana was vandalised followed by one of Savitribai Phule, in less than a month.