On the occasion of Dravidian icon E V Ramasamy’s 139th birth anniversary, a man hurled a shoe at the rationalist’s statue in Chennai and another figure was vandalised near Tirupur on Monday, officials said.
Police said they are on the lookout for the miscreants who vandalised Periyar’s statue at Dharapuram in Tirupur district, while the accused in Chennai was overpowered and arrested.
The ruling AIADMK, the main opposition DMK, its parent outfit DK and other political parties condemned the incidents.
AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, “Amma’s (late Jayalalithaa) government will not tolerate such unacceptable acts. They (the culprits) will be brought to book. Stern action will be taken against them.”
DMK chief M K Stalin demanded that those responsible for the incidents be booked under the National Security Act.
Demanding tough action against the culprits, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) chief K Veeramani said Periyar cannot be defamed by hurling footwear at his statue.
When cadre of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi were paying floral tributes to a statue of Periyar on Anna Salai in Chennai, a man arrived on a motorcycle and flung a shoe at it.
VCK cadre roughed up the man, later identified as Jagadeesan, before he was whisked away, police said.
The VKC workers, led by party chief Thol Thirumavalavan, staged a flash protest, seeking tough action against the accused.
“The man who threw the shoe was arrested after questioning,” a police officer told PTI.
When DMK and DK cadres congregated in a park at Dharampuram to pay homage to the late leader, they found footwear on the head of Periyar’s statue.
Scratches were also found on the head portion of the six-feet high bronze statue of the social reformer and a slight damage to the spectacles, police said.
Dravidian parties paid floral tributes to Periyar statues across Tamil Nadu.