Sahni’s bid to install Phoolan’s statues in UP hits police hurdle
The plan by Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) to install former bandit and MP late Phoolan Devi’s statues at different places in election-bound Uttar Pradesh was foiled by the police, which seized the statues in Varanasi and Mirzapur on Friday and denied permission for its proposed meeting to mark her “martyrdom day” on July 25.
A letter issued by Varanasi police commissioner A Satish Ganesh to VIP president and Bihar’s animal husbandry minister Mukesh Sahni cited the order issued by the UP government in 2008 whereby “a top level permission” is required to establish statue of any religious, political, or statesman even on private land.
“You are organizing a programme in violation of the order which is objectionable,” the letter said.
It further said that the programme was also in violation of Covid protocols and that people too had objected to installation of statue near Sujabad Shiv temple in Varanasi.
VIP sources claimed subdivisional magistrate in Varanasi had given permission to hold the programme with Covid protocols and the party had sent detailed information to the UP chief secretary about the event.
“This is not right. The situation could have been avoided. But this will not deter us from installing the statues for which we will proceed as per rules of the state. In UP, the BJP government is in power and we are friends in Bihar,” said Mukesh Sahni.
The VIP, with an eye on Nishad community votes in the run-up of Up assembly elections in 2022, had decided to install the statue of Phoolan Devi in 18 divisions of Uttar Pradesh.
Phoolan came from the Nishad community, which Sahni too belongs to.
The minister has got built 18 such statues, each 18-foot high.