Amid furore, Periyar statue vandalised in TN
Amidst the political furore over actor Rajinikanth’s remarks about Periyar EV Ramasamy, the founder of the Dravidian movement a statue of the late Dravidian icon was vandalised in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu on Friday by unknown people.
Police said the face and hand of the statue, erected at the main thoroughfare, were found damaged early in the morning. Police later covered it with a piece of cloth. As news of the vandalism spread, police pickets were posted in the area as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, Rajinikanth got relief from Madras high court which dismissed a petition by the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK) seeking a direction from the court to the police to file a case on the complaint against the actor. Justice P Rajamanickam asked why the petitioner rushed to the high court without even giving 15 days time to the police.
With the petitioner agreeing to withdraw the plea, it was dismissed as withdrawn.
The police said either supporters of the actor or a fringe group may be behind the vandalism, perhaps in retaliation to the protests by pro-Dravidian outfits demanding an apology from Rajinikanth.
Rajinikanth stirred a hornet’s nest with his speech at the 50th anniversary of Thuglak magazine, founded by the late Cho S Ramaswamy. “In 1971, Periyar led an anti-superstition procession in Salem, parading the portraits of Sri Ramachandramoorthy (Ram) and Sita, without clothes and with garlands of slippers. No one had the courage to report that. And, it was Cho, editor of Thuglak, who published it,” the actor said, triggering a wave of protests by Dravidian outfits.
Rajinikath has refused to apologise, stating that he was commenting on a reported incident.