Miscreants threw paint on the statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at the block samiti’s office here on Monday afternoon.
The district administration took a serious note of the incident, the third since December 1, 2013, and uprooted the statue and took it away in the evening. Senior Congress leaders gathered outside the block samiti office and staged a protest.
Former health minister Malti Thapar and former MLA Vijay Sathi noticed it and reported the matter to the police.
Parminder Singh Gill, deputy commissioner; Surinder Kaur, sub-divisional magistrate; and senior police officials visited the site. The police recorded the statements of local shopkeepers, but failed to get a clue about the mischief-makers.
A team of the public works department (buildings and roads) uprooted the statue and took it away.
“We are looking for a suitable place to reinstall it,” the DC said.
Miscreants had also damaged the statue on December 1, 2013, and, after three months, it was again defaced but the police did not take action.
The statue was installed by then district Congress president Ranwinder Singh Pappu Ramoowala on May 21, 2006. But Ramoowala later joined the SAD and the local Congress leaders did not take its proper care.
Darshan Singh Brar, president of the District Congress Committee, alleged that the Congressmen had made a written complaint to the police in 2013 also, but the police had registered only a daily dairy report.
“This time, the accused should be arrested immediately and, if the administration fails to arrest the accused, Congress workers would start an indefinite agitation outside the district administration complex,” Brar said.
Assistant sub-inspector Jaswinder Singh, who is an investigation officer (IO) in the case, said a case had been registered against unidentified people under section 499 (defamation), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code at the Modern police station on the statement of former Congress minister Malti Thapar.