A group of men went on a rampage cutting off sacred threads of ten people in Triplicane near Chennai on Wednesday morning, in a possible retaliation to the vandalism of Periyar bust in Vellore which followed BJP leader H Raja’s call to bring down the Dravidian icon’s statues.
The Chennai Police is out to nab the eight men who were reportedly raising pro-Periyar slogans before cutting off the sacred threads worn by bare-chested men returning from temples, The Indian Express said.
The sacred thread is worn commonly by the Hindu Brahmins, the highest in the caste ladder of the Varna system. Social reformer and rationalist leader, popularly known as Periyar, was known for his anti-untouchability stance and self-respect movement which aimed for the establishment of society where people from the so called backward castes, lower in the caste ladder, have equal human rights.
After a Facebook post by BJP leader H Raja that condoned the vandalism of Lenin's statue in Tripura and indicated that next would be Periyar's in Tamil Nadu, two people stoned the statue of Periyar, located inside the Tirupattur corporation office on Tuesday. One of the accused has been identified as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, the other person as a Communist Party of India (CPI) worker.
In a post now deleted, Raja had written, "Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection has India with Communists? Lenin's statue has been removed in Tripura. Today it is Lenin's statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy".
Reacting to Raja's post, many political parties including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), MDMK and the Left lashed out at Raja seeking his detention under the 'Goondas Act'.
DMK working president M K Stalin was the first to react. He said "No one can dare to touch EVR's statue".
In the early hours of Wednesday, the BJP office in Coimbatore was attacked with petrol bombs in a possible retaliation to the vandalism of Periyar statue in Vellore.
In the meantime, a Periyar Statue in Coimbatore's is being guarded by Police personnel.