Panchayat officials were to host the flag today and unveil the statue.
In a tiny village in West Bengal's Birbhum district, Independence Day did not get off the ground at all today. Villagers at Panchra woke up to find a statue of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose - to be inaugurated to mark the day - covered with tar and its nose broken by miscreants in the night.
Angry villagers let by the panchayat pradhan filed a police complaint at the Khairasole police station. Superintendent of Police N Sudheer Kumar said efforts were on to identify the culprits. But till last reports there have been no arrests.
The Netaji statute had been placed just yesterday at the panchayat office grounds at Panchra village, about 35 km from Siuri, headquarter town of Birbhum district. Panchayat officials were to host the flag today and unveil the statue. Early on Tuesday, when staff opened up the gate, they noticed the vandalism of the statue and informed authorities.
Angry villagers said if the police can't find the guilty, they would launch a hunt themselves.
"We haven't found a motive yet," police sources said. Once a motive is clear, suspects could be narrowed down.