August 10, 2015

India - Assam: BJP members arrested for desecrating St John Bosco's statue in Guwahati

BJP members arrested for desecrating St John Bosco's statue in Guwahati

Prabin Kalita,TNN | Aug 8, 2015, 04.48 PM IST

GUWAHATI: Four members of state unit of BJP, including a councilor of Guwahati Municpal Corporation have been arrested on Saturday morning on charges of desecrating the statue of St John Bosco here on Friday.

Police said that the preliminary investigations point out to the involvement of the four persons in vandalizing the statue. "They have been booked under charges of rioting and assault on policemen," officer in-charge of the Bharalumukh police station said.

"They are members of a political party, but we are not looking into that angle. We have arrested them as a miscreants," the police official said.

The Salesian Provincial of Guwahati had brought the fibre glass statue of the 19th century Italian Roman Catholic priest at the Martyrs' Corner near Sonaram high school in the city for installation on Friday morning. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi was scheduled to unveil the edifice later in the day. The Martyrs' Corner houses statues of Assam's freedom fighters and cultural icons.

A group of people desecrated the statue and threw it in the nearby Bharalu river here that flows into the Brahmaputra. They protested the installation of the statue on the grounds that the state government was overlooking the patriotic sentiments of the people of the state by allowing installation of a person's statue who 'had no personal contribution for Assam.'

The site of the installation had to shifted from a a different location in the city after Cotton College Union Society and Akhil Bharatya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) protested the installation.

A member of the state minority commission Alan Brooks said, "We live in a democracy and people have the right to protest. Vandalizing a statue is not part of our culture. He is a revered saint and no one has the right to desecrate his statue."

Chief Minister Gogoi said, "We understand the local sentiments but at the same we must acknowledge the contribution made by John Bosco in the field of education and the society at large."

source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/BJP-members-arrested-for-desecrating-St-John-Boscos-statue-in-Guwahati/articleshow/48403572.cms