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TN statue row: BJP office, Brahmins attacked, Raja expresses regret

TN statue row: BJP office, Brahmins attacked, Raja expresses regret

Chennai: Hours after a bomb attack on a BJP office, BJP National Secretary H. Raja on Wednesday expressed regret for his Facebook page calling for the razing of statues of iconic Dravidian leader E. V. Ramasamy or Periyar in Tamil Nadu. As a fallout of Raja’s comment and the vandalising of Periyar’s statue at Thirupattur in Vellore district late on Tuesday, several Tamil Brahmins were attacked in Triplicane area here on Wednesday morning and their sacred thread were cut by vandals on two wheelers raising pro-Ramasamy slogans.

According to a police official, four persons have surrendered in connection with the assault though no formal complaint was registered by the affected persons. Early on Wednesday, a petrol bomb was hurled at a BJP office in Coimbatore, around 500 km from here, by unidentified persons.

Later, in a fresh Facebook post, Raja expressed his heartfelt regret for his Tuesday post which he claimed was a message posted by his social media administrator without his permission and hence he had removed it. Raja expressed regret for the earlier post which sparked outrage. According to him, damaging the statues of Ramasamy could not be condoned.

The message that was posted and later removed said: “Who is Lenin? What is the connection between him (Lenin) and India? What connection between Communism and India? “Lenin’s statue was broken down in Tripura. Today it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic E. V. Ramasamy.” Barring the ruling AIADMK, all other parties in Tamil Nadu denounced Raja.

Late on Tuesday, two persons – one of them R. Muthuraman, a BJP member – were arrested in Thirupattur in Vellore for vandalizing the statue of Periyar, considered the fatherfigure of the rationalist movement in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP sacked Muthuraman from its basic membership. The attackers at the BJP’s office in Coimbatore came in a three-wheeler and hurled the petrol bomb inside the office.

Meanwhile, the President of the Makkal Needhi Maiam, Kamal Haasan, said on Wednesday that the Ramasamy statue controversy had been raked up to divert people’s attention from the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board as directed by the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Kamal urged other political leaders not to waste their energy commenting on the issue.

–IANS