Protests have emerged across the state of Tamil Nadu after the statue of Periyar, the father of the Dravidian movement, was desecrated at Vellalore in Coimbatore on Saturday. The desecration took place at night after 10 pm, the police said. The statue was found sprinkled with saffron powder and garlanded with chappals on Sunday morning.
K Veeramani, Dravidar Kazhagam president, informed that the party is conducting protest marches statewide following Covid-19 protocol. People are protesting holding placards, and getting arrested in batches of three to five in strict adherence to the Covid protocol.
"We are conducting protests in a symbolic manner against the regular desecration of the statues of Thanthai Periyar. If we don't respond this will continue, and the government of the day must act strongly against the perpetrators of this crime," he said.
CCTV visuals have confirmed the presence of a person near the status, Podanur Police informed. However, not many are likely to have witnessed the desecration owing to the night curfew and lockdown on Sunday.
"The desecration of the statue of Periyar at Vellalore in Coimbatore is not a single phenomenon. Of late, there have been several instances of people showing disrespect to the statue of Periyar and we cannot lay low and take this any more against the greatest social reformer of Tamil Nadu," K Ramakrishnan, President of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK), said.
Protestors have been arrested from Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Salem, Erode, Madurai, Chennai central, Tirunelveli, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, and other districts of Tamil Nadu.