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A day before jayanti, Ambedkar’s statue in G Noida village vandalised

The incident was discovered at 7.30am on Friday morning when residents of Richhpal Garhi woke up and found the statue, in Ambedkar park of the village, damaged. The statue had been in the park for the last 25 years.

noida Updated: Apr 13, 2018 22:37 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
Noida,Bisrakh,Ambedkar
The statue was replaced in the evening.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

A statue of BR Ambedkar in Richhpal Garhi village of Bisrakh in Greater Noida was damaged on Friday morning, a day before Ambedkar Jayanti.

The incident was discovered at 7.30am on Friday morning when residents of Richhpal Garhi woke up and found the statue, in Ambedkar park of the village, damaged. The statue had been in the park for the last 25 years.

“Few people who were on a morning stroll noticed the nose and ears of Baba Saheb’s statue had been damaged. We immediately called the 100 helpline and informed the police,” said 28-year-old Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Richhpal Garhi, who works in a bank.

Police said that they have lodged a case of vandalism. “We have lodged a case against unknown persons for vandalism and defacement of public property. No arrest has been made yet. We are probing the matter,” said Akhilesh Tripathi, station house officer, Bisrakh police station.

Police had been deployed in the village since April 10 when Bharat bandh was observed by few communities who were demanding that reservations be scrapped. However, villagers said there was no police personnel at the spot.

“Two policemen were stationed at the park since April 10 but today morning, there was no one,” Singh said.

With a history of more than 150 years, Richhpal Garhi is situated behind Gaur City-2 housing complex. More than 250 families, belonging to different religions, including scheduled castes and other backward castes, reside in the village.

Villagers deny any past incident of tension among residents of the village.

“There has never been any past incident of tension between any two communities. We just demand that the statue be reinstated with full respect and honour,” said 85-year-old Rati Ram, one of the oldest residents of the village.

Villagers said that on April 14, they were planning to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti with much fervour.

“Every year, we celebrate the jayanti with candles, songs and bhandara. Even this year, we had intended to celebrate the jayanti and we will do it anyway,” Rajat Kumar, a resident of Richhpal Garhi, said.

Villagers said BR Ambedkar holds a special place in this village and in a reflection of that, posters of Ambedkar and Sant Ravidas have been put up outside many households. Residents said that Ambedkar has given them self-esteem and honour.

“Today, it is because of Baba Saheb that we have started living our lives with respect. Even girls have started going to school because of his teachings. He is our inspiration,” Ram said.

Superintendent of police (rural) Suniti said that a new statue of Ambedkar was installed in the evening.

“We have deployed sufficient security in the village and a new statue has been installed. We have spoken to the villagers and they have been extremely understanding in their approach,” Suniti said.

Lakshmi Singh, the district president of Bahujan Samaj Party, condemned the incident. “Such incidents cause animosity among communities and bring anarchy to society. We condemn it,” Singh said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 22:37 IST