Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Apr 5:
Knocking down of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi-the Father of the Nation by unidentified miscreants in the premises of Sambalpur University (SU) campus has evoked strong emotions from all quarters.
SU authorities have lodged an FIR at the Burla Police Station today over the knocking down of the statue which was unveiled by deputy chief whip of the ruling BJD in the Odisha Assembly Rohit Pujari on Monday inside the university campus.
“This could not have happened due strong wind flow. We have lodged an FIR with the police. We have contacted the SP and the district collector and have written to them for conducting an inquiry immediately since this is an insult to the Father of the Nation,” said Prof Chittaranjan Tripathy, vice chancellor of SU.
“Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was found in a knocked down state in the morning today. We have received a complaint. We have visited the spot. We have begun investigations in the matter. Appropriate punishment will be awarded to whosoever is found guilty,” said Tofan Bag, IIC Burla.
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi which was unveiled in the varsity campus along with statues of three other freedom fighters on Monday afternoon was found in a knocked down state today in the morning.
While the Congress has called for a Sambalpur University bandh on Thursday to protest over the incident, the ruling BJD has condemned the insult.
“We demand severe punishment to those guilty. Sambalpur Zilla Congress Committee has decided to paralyze the administration wing of Sambalpur University on April 7,” said Girija Shankar Naik secretary Sambalpur Zilla Congress Committee.
“The way Father of the Nation’s statue has been insulted is most unfortunate. Strong action should be taken against those who have perpetrated the crime,” said Rohit Pujari, deputy chief whip of BJD in the Odisha Assembly.
Sambalpur University authorities have, however, said that a new statue of the Father of the Nation will be put up in the place of the broken statue soon.