07 March, Kolkata
Seven members of a Left student group were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly damaging a bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee at the Keoratola crematorium here, police said.
Six males and a female aged 22-29 years who tried to deface the bust of Mookerjee have been arrested and strong legal action has been initiated against them, police said. “No vandalism will be tolerated,” Police Commissioner Rajib Kumar tweeted.
Police said all the seven were members of a far-Left student outfit known as “Radical”. Six of them were students of Kolkata’s Jadavpur University.
Later, West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh condemned the incident.
“Be it people from the Left or any other party, I am warning everyone to refrain from trying to insult leaders and statesmen like Syama Prasad Mookerjee. If anyone tries to do anything like this in future, that would be their last action,” he said.
“They will be safe in police custody for now. But when they come out, no one can guarantee what will happen to them,” he said.
Ghosh called upon his party workers to gather in front of the vandalized statue at the south Kolkata crematorium on Thursday where the BJP would cleanse Mukherjee’s bust with milk.
“We condemn the vandalizing of the statue… Demand very strong action against the culprits,” Sayantan Basu, General Secretary of the West Bengal BJP, said in a statement.
The incident came after a statue of Dravidian icon E.V.R. Ramasamy or Periyar was attacked in Tamil Nadu while two statues of Lenin were pulled down in Tripura allegedly by BJP and RSS activists.