BSP slams Maya statue vandalising in Lucknow

BSP slams Maya statue vandalising in Lucknow

Unidentified persons vandalised a marble statue of BSP supremo Mayawati here on Thursday, triggering statewide protests from her supporters.

State police chief A C Sharma said three youths, who helped the main suspect, Amit Jani, president of little known UP Navnirman Sena, hold a press conference here were arrested. The detained youths, however, claimed innocence. “We had only helped in organising the press conference,” Vishal Mishra, one of the detained youths, said. Sharma said Jani had a criminal past. “He faces seven criminal cases,” he added.

Political parties, including the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), decried the incident and demanded that the offenders be punished. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered immediate repair of the statue. “It is a conspiracy to disturb the social harmony in the state,” he said. The marble statue of Mayawati had been installed at the B R Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal here along with the statues of several other dalit icons and a special security force had been formed for their protection.

According to eye witnesses, four to six youths arrived at the park and smashed at the statue with hammers, damaging it. They escaped on motor bikes. Pamphlets they left behind claimed that the members of UP Navnirman Sena were responsible for the incident.

Jani had held a press conference earlier in the day and threatened to break the statues of Mayawati in the state. Jani, a Meerut resident, was said to be an active member of the SP. He had declared that the statues symbolised “loot and terror”, and that his associates would break them if the government did not.

Swami Prasad Maurya of the BSP warned of “serious” consequences. “It could not have happened without state protection,” he remarked. Police caned BSP workers at Kanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Ambedkar Nagar and other places to disperse the BSP workers.

 

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