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Jharkhand: Protests erupt in Dhanbad as miscreants desecrate Ambedkar statue

This is the second instance of the statue, located near DRM Building, being desecrated in the last six months. The BSP will hold a ‘purification ceremony’ for the statue on June 10.

ranchi Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
Ambedkar statue,Dhanbad,BSP
Dalit activists burn an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest the statue desecration in Dhanbad on Thursday. (Bijay/HT Photo)

Miscreants desecrated a statue of social reformer Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar at Dhanbad in Jharkhand on Thursday, drawing protests from Dalit groups and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) activists.

The culprits tied a dirty scarf around the statue’s head, hung a plastic bag from its hand and placed the flags of three political parties – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Samajwadi Party – around it.

This is the second instance of the statue, located near DRM Building, being desecrated in the last six months. Miscreants had broken its arm on March 16.

Police removed the offending items from the statue as soon as the incident came to light, but photographs of the desecration had already gone viral on the Internet by then. Angry protesters hit the streets to condemn the manner in which Ambedkar – the father of the Indian constitution – was targeted. BSP activists and Dalit groups burnt Prime Minister Narendra Modi in effigy, holding him responsible for the growing bias against Dalits in the country.

BSP district president Madan Mohan Ram said the administration had failed to safeguard the statue’s sanctity despite repeated incidents of the kind. “When the statue was defaced on March 16, they announced that CCTV cameras would be installed to prevent such incidents from recurring. The cameras have not been installed until now,” he added.

He also pointed out that no suspects have been identified even three months after the previous incident.

The BSP has decided to hold a purification ceremony for the statue on June 10. “Hundred litres of milk will be used for the purpose,” Ram said.

The incident was also condemned by other political parties. Describing the statue desecration as an attempt to spread caste hatred, BJP district spokesperson M Parsarthi said: “Action needs to be taken against those behind this shameful act.”

JMM district president Ramesh Tuddu also raised a similar demand.

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 20:04 IST