Ambedkar statue placed in cage to save it from vandalism

A statue of Dalit icon Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was found to be locked in an iron cage in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district

Ambedkar statue placed in cage to save it from vandalism

Biswajeet Banerjee

With reports of desecration of statues of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar pouring from across Uttar Pradesh, Dalits in Badaun have put a cage around the statue located in a prominent locality of the city in central UP to protect it from hooligans.

The district administration in Badaun was caught off guard when reports started pouring in about statue of Baba Sahib Bhim Rao Ambedkar being 'caged’. On Thursday night, the cage was removed and a security guard posted.

The incident was reported from Gadhdhi Chowk in Badaun where the statue was Dr Ambedkar was not only caged, but also kept under padlock. No one claimed responsibility for caging the statue, but people believe that with incidents of damaging statues of Babasaheb on the rise, local people might have taken the step as a precautionary measure. In the last one week, nine incidents of desecration of Ambedkar’s statues have been reported, most of these from western UP, despite Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issuing a strict warning against such vandalism.

Circle Officer of the region Virendra Singh said that he has no knowledge of who has caged the statue. It is a matter of investigation. Someone took this step to prevent further strife between upper castes and Dalits, he said.

SDM Badaun Parsnath Maurya said that there must be apprehension that some people might damage the statue before Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, therefore to avoid such incident this precautionary measure might have been taken by the people who had installed the statue there.

Badaun was recently in news when Ambedkar’s statue was painted in saffron. After media highlighted this, the district administration painted it back in blue, adopted by the Bahujan Samaj as its colour.

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