In an audacious move, Tamil Nadu Police personnel covered up a statue of Bharat Mata in Puliyur village, Kanyakumari, erected on a temple property, for, it offended the sensibilities of the Christians in the area. It is learnt that one Christian man had complained to the police to remove the statue as it had hurt his religious sentiments.
The Bharat Mata statue stands on the premises of Issaki Amman temple, which is 200 years old. The land is a private property and the owner installed a statue and adorned it with a tri-colour saree. They are worshipping her along with the villagers.
However, a couple of days ago police personnel led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Baskaran ordered his officers to cover the statue. The local SI asked them to remove the statue immediately or face action. The DSP orally told them not to worship Bharat Mata statue, and on 21st they covered it with a blue colour cloth. The Christians in the vicinity instigated by missionaries had claimed that the statue hurt their religious sentiments.
The issue snowballed into a major controversy with leaders from BJP, RSS and Hindu Munnani gathered at the place on May 22 and removed the cloth. They later garlanded the statue. District BJP leader Dharmaraja was also present on occasion.
Hindu Munnani district leader Misa Soman said, “Without any complaint from the Village Administrative Officer or anybody, the police at the behest of a Christian group took this unwarranted action. We questioned on what basis and whose complaint they took action for which police had no answer. We split into groups and protested over 13 places in the district. They again covered it with a cloth. The police arrested us and later released us on bail.”
In his petition to the district collector, the owner of the temple T Muthukumar said, “The statue was on our Patta land without affecting public peace or law and order. It did not create any communal clashes. My ancestors built the temple, and we have been maintaining the same for generations.”
Anand of Hindu Munnani said we have decided to file a complaint against DSP who insulted our Bharat Mata in all police stations in the district.