Protest against Removal of Pandit Karuppan’s Statue.

published on May 28, 2014

A hartal was called for by members of the Dheevara Sabha community, as a mark of protest against the removal of the statue of Pandit Karuppan by the Revenue Department at Maradu on Saturday. The dawn-to-dusk hartal was held in association with the Hindu Aikya Vedi.

The hartal was called by the Dheevara Sabha and supported by various organisations and political outfits. Shops, including the Agriculture Urban Wholesale Market, and government offices remained shut.

Political and community leaders participated in a protest march taken out from Kundannoor north to Kundannoor junction as part of the hartal. A dharna was staged in front of the village office.

Kerala Dheevara Maha Sabha called for immediate action against revenue officials responsible for the incident.

An emergency meeting of Kavithilakan Pandit Karuppan Vicharavedi regarded the demolition of the bust by the revenue authorities on the 130th birth anniversary of the leader as State-sponsored highhandedness.

“It was an insult to a great man who contributed great things to society. Without any provocation, the revenue officials vandalised the statue instead of removing it. The upper part of the statue had some cracks after it fell on the ground. They have removed the statue using a JCB and it was an absolute humiliation to all,” said Dheevarasabha Karayogam president K K Sethulal.

While addressing the protest, Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha secretary T K Somanathan put forward three demands before the state government. “First of all, immediate measures have to be taken by the state government to reinstate the monument of Karuppan. Secondly, action must be taken against the revenue officials and police who had shown disrespect to the statue, breaking it using an earthmover. Thirdly, the 13 acres land at Kundannoor must be entrusted to the Sabha members for keeping the monument of Pandit Karuppan,” he said.

He also warned that the protests will continue if the government fails to resolve the issue amicably within two days. Secretary of Sreebhagaval Sahayaka Sangam, Kundannoor branch, P S Pradeepan, Dheevara Sabha taluk Secretary P K Kethikeyan, CPM Maradu local secretary K A Devasy, BJP Tripunithura mandalam president Vijaya Kumar and Congress Maradu mandalam president Antony Ashanparabhil also spoke.

Meanwhile, various organisations affiliated to Dheevara Sabha conducted protest meetings across the district. Excise Minister K Babu said that the issue will be discussed in the cabinet on Wednesday. “The government will also conduct meetings with Dheevara Sabha members before taking a final decision on the issue,” he said.

According to sources, the pulling down of the statue was held on the same day when the state celebrated the 130th birth anniversary of Pandit Karuppan. This led to a remonstration of ire, by members of the Dheevara Sabha community.

Protests Planned

The Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha has urged the government to take action against the revenue and police officials who ordered the removal of the statue of Pandit Karuppan at Maradu.

Dheevara Sabha state general secretary V Dinakaran pointed out that the statue was pulled down on the same day when the state celebrated the 129th birth anniversary of Pandit Karuppan. The action of the government officials were heinous and hence the government should take action against them, he said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured that the issue will be settled and has asked for time till the next cabinet meeting.

The Sabha has threatened to begin statewide protests if there are any lapses on the part of government in taking action against the erring officials.

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