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Ambedkar statues: Vandalism alert in UP

 Lucknow, April 9: Ahead of the birth anniversary of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar on April 14, the Uttar Pradesh government has sounded an alert on the safety and security of statues of the Dalit leader, an official said on Monday. The advisory comes close on the heels of the Bharat Bandh called on April 2 by the Dalit community that garnered huge response across the country. 

After several incidents of vandalism of statues of iconic leaders across some states in March, the Uttar Pradesh Home Department alerted all the district police chiefs to sensitise their personnel. Vigil has been stepped up and local intelligence units (LIU) alerted. Ambedkar statues were vandalised in Meerut, Saharanpur, Firozabad and Bulandshahr in March, triggering angry protests from the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi party (SP). People had taken to streets and threat to law and order had emerged. “To avoid a repeat, we have alerted the police force in advance,” a state Home Department official told IANS. The ruling Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) has been on the edge following widespread Dalit protests in the state. (IANS)