A group of people belonging to Akali Dal party on Tuesday vandalised the statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Ludhiana in Punjab. The video of two Akali Dal leaders Gurdeep Gosh and Meetpal Dugri spraying paint on the statue of Gandhi later surfaced on social media, evoking angry reactions from Congress supporters.
One person was later arrested by the police in connection with the incident of vandalism. Reacting to the development, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh asked the police to take strict action against the perpetrators of the crime.
The episode of vandalism took place on the statue at the Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana. They committed the crime with a sense of impunity and even recorded their message towards the end, blaming Rajiv Gandhi for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Punjab Chief Minister tweeted, “Strongly condemn vandalisation of Rajiv Gandhi’s statue by @Akali_ Dal_ workers in Ludhiana. Have asked Police to identify the guilty & take strict action.” He added, “@officeofssbadal should apologise to people of Punjab for this obnoxious act.”
Pay my respects to former President of India Giani Zail Singh Ji on his death anniversary today. The first Sikh to hold the highest office of President of India, his contribution to Punjab & the nation will always be remembered.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) December 25, 2018
Amarinder Singh, according to news agency PTI, also asked the SAD to apologise to the people of Punjab for this act.
In the video, one man was heard saying, “This man (Rajiv Gandhi) is responsible for the murders of Sikhs in Delhi.” According to local police, the perpetrators also demanded removal of Rajiv Gandhi’s statues from across India and revocation of Bharat Ratna honour confererd on the former prime minister.
Some local Congress leaders later cleaned the statue, while Congress’s Ludhiana president Gurpreet Singh said that they had also lodged a police complaint.
This comes just days after Aam Aadmi Party discussed a resolution in the Delhi Assembly, seeking to withdraw the Bharat Ratna honour from Gandhi. The party had later claimed that the original draft of the resolution did not include the demand for revocation of Bharat Ratna of Rajiv Gandhi.
— The Tribune (@thetribunechd) December 25, 2018