CRPF jawan held for vandalising Periyar statue: Tamil Nadu CM
Chennai/New Delhi: A CRPF jawan, who was undergoing psychiatric treatment since February, has been arrested for allegedly vandalising a statue of rationalist leader Periyar in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu.
Head Constable S Senthil Kumar (35) was held from his house in Vidhuti village last night after the CCTV footage obtained from the area showed him damaging the statue while he was in an inebriated state, Pudukottai district police said.
The CRPF, in a statement, said that Kumar was on a 30-day leave at his native place in Tamil Nadu from March 14 and has been suspended in the wake of the incident.
After the opposition DMK raised the issue in the state Assembly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami informed the House on Wednesday about the arrest of Kumar in the case.
The statue of EV Ramasamy, also known as 'Periyar', in Viduthi village was found decapitated on March 19.
The CRPF said Kumar was under treatment at a force hospital in Hyderabad since February 12 for "schizophrenia".
"He was on 30 days leave at his native place in Tamil Nadu from March 14," the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said.
"The individual has been placed under suspension, pending enquiry in the case," it said. In the assembly, Palaniswami said the jawan was posted in Chhattisgarh and had come to his native village on leave.
The chief minister warned of strict action against those vandalising statues of leaders and described as "condemnable" the recent incidents of desecration of Periyar statues in Vellore and Pudukottai districts. Referring to the Pudukottai incident, he said senior police officials rushed to the spot to prevent any untoward incident and a case was filed. Special teams were formed to nab the culprit.
"It came to be known through CCTV footage and witnesses that he (Kumar) was moving around the place in an inebriated state and when police interrogated him, he admitted to damaging the Periyar statue," the chief minister said.