Rajiv Gandhi’s statue vandalised in Chennai(Lead)

October 24th, 2008 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 24 (IANS) Unidentified people damaged a statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the northern suburbs of this city Friday. In a separate incident, the office of the Janata Party was attacked in Madurai, official sources said.S. Manoharan, a spokesman of the Janata Party spokesperson attributed the attack on their office to “anti-Indian elements opposed by our leader Dr Subramanian Swamy”.

“Over a hundred people claiming to be lawyers broke every chair, table and tube-light in our office. They also assaulted me brutally. Since the police picket posted here for protection was removed, we were defenceless. For whatever it is worth, we have filed a complaint with the police,” Manoharan told IANS.

“The protestors shouted slogans vowing to chase all Tamil traitors like Dr Swamy away from the borders of Tamil Nadu,” R. Nagaiyan, a witness said.

Gandhi, who was assassinated by a female suicide bomber in 1991, and Swamy are considered to be symbols against the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - who are currently facing losses against the Sri Lankan army.

Meanwhile, over 500 workers of the MDMK were arrested for protesting against Thursday’s arrest of their leaders Vaiko and M. Kannappan on charges of sedition and asking for an armed struggle to support the Sri Lankan Tamils’ quest for a separate homeland, police said.

The duo have been remanded to judicial custody and housed in the high security Puzhal prison here.

Congress workers blocked traffic in the northern suburbs here in protest against the damage to the statue of Rajiv Gandhi.

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