28 arrested after Ambedkar statue vandalised in Tamil Nadu’s Vedaranyam town
Twenty-eight people have been arrested after clashes broke out between two caste groups in Vedaranyam town in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu on Sunday and a statue of BR Ambedkar was vandalised. The statue has been replaced by a new bronze one.
According to police, an SUV belonging to one Pandian, of a local dominant caste, ran over one Ramachandran, belonging to the Dalit community, near the Vedaranyam bus stand around 5 pm on Sunday. As a crowd began to gather, Pandian fled the spot. However, his vehicle was set on fire. According to reports, the mob pelted stones at a nearby police station too.
About half an hour after this, Pandian’s supporters arrived at the spot and vandalised the statue of Ambedkar. They also attacked the government hospital where Ramachandran was admitted. Authorities then shifted him to Tiruvarur Government Hospital.
According to the police, the Vedaranyam police station had difficulty controlling the crowd as they were short-staffed, with many personnel deployed in bandobast duty at Velankanni’s annual festival. The situation could be brought under control only after police personnel from Nagapattinam and other neighboring districts like Thanjavur and Thiruvarur arrived at the scene.