- The glasses and nose of the statue were damaged
- The police have arrested two men and say they were drunk
- BJP's H Raja had threatened Periyar's statues, then deleted Facebook post
Just hours after BJP leader H Raja threatened that statues of Dravidian icon and social reformer EVR Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar, too would be pulled down - after a statue of Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was razed in Tripura - two men vandalised a Periyar statue at a municipal corporation office in Tamil Nadu's Vellore.
The statue of Periyar, located inside the Tirupattur corporation office, was targeted around 9 pm. The glasses and nose of the statue were damaged.
The police have arrested two men. "One man is a BJP member and another a CPI worker, both drunk," the police said.
It was in Tripura that the first incident of a statue being razed surfaced. After the BJP ended the 25-year-long rule of the Left in the northeastern state, two statues of Lenin were found demolished, allegedly by workers of the BJP.
BJP national secretary H Raja responded to the outrage that followed with a Facebook post this morning: "Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection has India with Communists? Lenin's statue has been removed in Tripura. Today it is Lenin's statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy".
The BJP leader, however, deleted the Facebook post after facing huge backlash in Tamil Nadu. DMK working president MK Stalin has demanded the arrest of Mr Raja for his post. The MDMK, CPM and CPI have also demanded action against Mr Raja.
BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan had distanced the party from the controversial remarks.
Social activist Periyar had started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam, one of the first Dravidian outfits in the country.
Statues of Communist icons like Lenin, the Chinese revolutionary Mao, and German revolutionary socialist Marx, were installed in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, where the Left was in power.