Hyderabad: Police in
Andhra Pradesh Saturday arrested three people for the recent
desecration of statues of B.R. Ambedkar in East Godavari district
as Dalit groups continued protests in parts of the state.
Police brought three arrested youths before media and said they
were on the lookout for 10 others involved in the Monday incident
Special investigating officer Krishnam Raju said the youths
damaged the statues in an inebriated condition. "It is an act
committed on the spur of a moment and no political group or any
other section is involved in it," he said.
However, Congress MP from coastal Andhra Harsha Kumar expressed
his doubts over the arrests and demanded that the real culprits
behind the attacks be nabbed.
Police also appealed to Dalit groups to call off their protests
and urged them not to do anything which vitiates the peaceful
atmosphere of the state.
On a call given by Dalit groups, a shutdown is being observed in
Eluru town of West Godavari, Medak and in parts of Adilabad
At least three statues of Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian
constitution and a Dalit icon, were desecrated on the outskirts of
Amlapuram town Jan 23. Another statue was vandalised at
Dowleswaram, a suburb of Rajahmundry town in the same district
Thursday, triggering protests by Dalit groups.
A four-member ministerial delegation visited Amlapuram Friday
while the government directed all district collectors and
superintendents of police across the state to be vigilant and take
steps for protection of Ambedkar's statues.
A delegation of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders
Saturday visited Amlapuram and Dowleswaram. TDP leader K. Yerran
Naidu described desecration as a "devil's act".
Meanwhile, a statue of a slain legislator was found vandalised at
Tenali in Guntur district, sparking tension in the area. Police
imposed prohibitory orders, banning any gathering of five or more
people, and tightened the security in the town.
Police said unidentified people uprooted the statue of Vangaveeti
Mohana Ranga and threw it into a nearby drain. The followers of
the slain legislator gathered in Tenali, demanding action against
The statue of freedom fighter and farmers' leader Acharya N.G.
Ranga was also damaged by the miscreants in the same town.
Vangaveeti Ranga's son Vangaveeti Radha in Vijayawada appealed to
his followers to be calm and not to resort to violence.
Vijayawada, a city in the coastal district of Krishna, was rocked
by violence between two caste groups in 1988. Vangaveeti Ranga and
two brothers of rival politician Devineni Nehru were killed in the
violence. Ranga's murder had led to large-scale riots in coastal