Madurai: There is tension in pockets of Madurai district in Tamil Nadu after two statues of Ambedkar were found vandalised early this morning. A statue of another local Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran too was found damaged.
Dalit groups blocked roads at a few places and are on a relay hunger strike demanding the arrest of culprits.
Madurai Police have formed four teams to nab those responsible for the attack. They've set up pickets around all the statues of community leaders across southern Tamil Nadu.
In the late nineties, desecration and damage to statues of Dalit leaders led to bloody communal clashes in which scores of people were killed.
Police had then installed iron grills around statues of communal leaders in Tirunelvelli, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar and Kanniyakumari districts in a bid to protect them from anti-social elements. Following today's vandalism, the Madurai Collector has ordered such a protection for statues in sensitive areas.
Dalit leaders are also demanding replacing the damaged concrete statue of Ambedkar with a bronze one. The district administration has assured them that they will take up the issue with the government.
Story first published:
August 07, 2012 11:49 IST