In a shocking incident on the eve of the 128th birth anniversary of the father of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, a freshly-erected 10-ft-tall statue of the leader was vandalised by the Greater Hyderabad Muncipal Corporation. The reason given was permission was not sought for the building of the statue.
The statue was erected at Punjagutta early on Saturday without obtaining clearance from the GHMC. Pictures of the damaged structure being carried from Yousufguda to the Jawaharnagar dump yard in a garbage truck went viral and evoked strong reactions from all quarters.
The Ambedkar Statue Protection Committee — which installed the structure — led by G Vinod Kumar, staged a protest against its removal at the site near the Punjagutta junction. As a precautionary measure, the police detained at least eight persons, including Kumar.
The damaged statue, meanwhile, was taken to the Yousufguda Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy indoor stadium.
Officials say it got damaged while being transported, but members of the association claim it got damaged as it fell off the vehicle.
The Indian New Indian express quoted Kumar saying that they sought permission from the government to erect the statue at the Punjagutta junction, near the statue of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. In the absence of a response, the association went ahead and installed the statue on Saturday.
“The GHMC and Hyderabad police have humiliated Dr BR Amedkar on his birth anniversary by removing the statue and throwing it in the dump yard. We will intensify our stir till the government responds to the incident,” Kumar warned.
The incident left both the GHMC and police embarrassed, and GHMC Commissioner Dana Kishore expressed “deep regret over the unfortunate incident”.
He suspended the Yousufguda yard operator Balaji for shifting the statue from Yousufguda to the Jawaharnagar dumping yard without permission from higher officials.
A senior IAS officer has been entrusted with the inquiry into the incident..
The Jawaharnagar police registered a case under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, following a complaint by the Telangana State Mala Mahanadu president.
The Telangana SC, ST Commission has sought a comprehensive report from the GHMC commissioner Hyderabad police commissioner.