A bust of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in south Kolkata by seven persons, including a woman, allegedly belonging to a left-wing group Radical, police said.
All the seven persons have been arrested, city police commissioner Rajiv Kumar said.
The incident happened after two statues of communist icon Vladimir Lenin were pulled down in Tripura and a bust of rationalist movement founder EV Ramasamy or Periyar was vandalised in Tamil Nadu.
“Six men and one woman in their early 20s who tried to deface the bust of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee have been arrested from the spot by Kolkata Police and strong legal action initiated,” Kumar said in a statement.
“No vandalism would be tolerated,” he said.
A senior officer of the Tollygunge police station said the accused entered the area and suddenly started damaging the bust and then splattered black ink on it.
Locals caught hold of the accused and informed the police. The police said the seven persons were members of the left-wing group called Radical. A poster was also found from the spot with the word “Radicals” written on it, they said.
“A portion on the right side of the bust including its right ear, eye and cheek was damaged,” the officer of the Tollygunj police station said.
Restoration of the bust has been initiated, he said.
Adequate police personnel have been deployed in the area to check any other untoward incident.
Local TMC MLA and state power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay and party councillor Mala Roy rushed to the spot after the incident.
“Such an incident is not at all welcome. We will not allow this to happen in West Bengal. People who are involved in it were arrested,” Chattopadhyay said.
“There is no logic behind defacing Syama Prasad Mookerjees bust because someone has pulled down Lenin’s statue,” he said.
Commenting on the incident, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said: “Whenever the Left goes out of power they take up such tricks. This is an anti-national act,” he alleged.
The BJP said the party will hold agitation outside Tollygunge and Kalighat police stations today against the incident.