Kolkata, Mar 27: A statue of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first Union education minister, was knocked down by miscreants during clashes which broke out in several parts of West Bengal during Ram Navami processions. The bust of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was razed in Kakinara which has seen a spree of violence since Sunday. The vandalism of Azad’s statue was caught on camera and the video of the incident is going viral on social media. Also Read - Amid Massive Vaccine Rollout, West Bengal Faces Roadblock as CoWIN App Faces Glitch on Day 1
Bhatpara MLA and municipality chairperson Arjun Singh confirmed the desecration of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s statue. “Cops are investigating. I do not know anything more,” he reportedly said. Azad was a freedom fighter and a senior member of the Congress party. Also Read - AIMIM's West Bengal Acting Chief Joins TMC Days After Owaisi Visited Poll-bound State
Defying the West Bengal government’s ban on carrying weapons in public, several armed rallies were taken out by the Sangh affiliates in various parts of the state, including Birbhum, West Midnapore, Howrah and certain places in Kolkata. Two persons were killed and several others including policemen were injured during clashes. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all the superintendents of police (SPs) to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.
A huge political controversy erupted after the CPI-M accused the BJP of attacking its offices in Tripura and bringing down Lenin statues after winning assembly polls in the state. The incidents of statue vandalism in Tripura sparked a wave of similar actions across the country in its immediate aftermath. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar, and Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee were also targetted.