Rajiv Gandhi's statue desecrated | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajiv Gandhi's statue desecrated

Chennai woke up to a tense Saturday morning after some miscreants allegedly desecrated the statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, located just 50 meters from the Ashok Nagar police station.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2010 15:35 IST
HT Correspondent

Chennai woke up to a tense Saturday morning after some miscreants allegedly desecrated the statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, located just 50 meters from the Ashok Nagar police station. Congress workers were aghast after finding a garland with two slippers adorning the statue of their beloved leader. A banner was also hung across the statue.

The incident that came to light early in the morning at 6 am, brought the Congress workers out in full strength onto Ashok Nagar, a middle class residential cum commercial area in central Chennai, who stopped the traffic for over three hours to protest against the incident and demand immediate arrest of the people behind the 'deplorable act'. Two Youth Congress workers also allegedly tried to commit self-immolation on the spot, but were prevented by the party activists.

The Youth Congress workers tried to prevent the police from removing the offending garland till the culprits were arrested. But Ashok Nagar police removed the garland by force, alleged J James, Chennai city district president.

DCP, T Nagar, K Shanmugavel, said the police immediately launched investigations. "We have launched investigations and are on the job," he told Hindustan Times. "The situation is now under control," he said.

According to the police, some 60 Congress workers were taken into custody near Anna Salai in Central Chennai, when they were protesting against the incident in the afternoon.

Karate Thiagarajan, former deputy mayor of Chennai and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) member who was leading the protest at Ashok Nagar, said that if the police did not arrest the culprits immediately the party would scale up the agitation all across the state.

He and other Congress leaders suspected the hand of the Dalit Panthers Party (Virdudalai Chirutuaigal Katchi) leader Thol Thirumavalanan in the act. Incidentally, Thirumavalanan has been attacking the Congress leaders at the Centre - AICC president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Rahul Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh - for inviting and giving importance to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Tamil groups like VCK hold the Sri Lankan president responsible for the genocide of innocent Tamils in the island nation and demand that the country should have nothing to do with the "mass murderer".

AICC member from Tamil Nadu and union home minister's son Karti P Chidambaram, who has taken on Thirumavalanan, condemned the incident but was careful not to name him or hold him responsible. "Rajiv Gandhi is the revered leader of the nation. This act is unacceptable. I hope the police will book the guilty and take action as per law, at the earliest."