BJP-TMC clash over Syama statue vandalization

Kolkata, March 8: The BJP on Thursday accused Trinamool workers of attacking its men who had gathered to “purify” a marble bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee that was vandalised and blackened by members of a left-wing student organisation a day ago. “Our activists went there to peacefully purify and cleanse the statue of Mookherjee with milk and Ganga-jal (water from the Ganga). But police stopped them and the Trinamool goons beat them up severely. “We condemn such actions by the ruling party,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, adding that the Mamata Banerjee government must issue a statement by Thursday evening regarding the restoration of the statue.
Ghosh said the police imposed prohibitory orders (under CrPC 144) in and around the area of the vandalised statue and detained some 25 to 30 BJP workers on charges of unlawful assembly, while the Trinamool Congress workers “went scot free”. No police confirmation was, however, available on the exact number of BJP workers detained. Following the incident, BJP leaders and activists, led by Ghosh, rallied from Lake Mall until they were stopped by the police.
The members of BJP’s Mahila Morcha (women wing) blew conch shells and protested demanding to go close to the statue. “We demand the state government to issue a statement by 5 p.m. today about the restoration of the statue. Otherwise BJP will hold demonstration with Syama Prasad Mookherjee’s photographs in every district,” Ghosh said. (IANS)