Two cases of vandalisation of Periyar EV Ramaswamy statues have been reported in the last couple of days. The latest incident took place in the early hours of Sunday morning in a Samathuvapuram in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district. The other took place in Sirkazhi in Mayiladuthurai district, on Friday. According to eye witnesses present at Periyar Ninaivu Samathuvapuram on Kuppam road near Krishnagiri, miscreants had allegedly doused a lorry tyre with petrol, set it on fire, and flung it on the Periyar bust. Speaking to reporters, Ramachandran, a resident of Kattunayakanpalli Panchayat, where the 14-year-old Samathuvapuram is located says, “This took place around 2 am on Sunday and some of our residents watched it happen. But they were unable to make out who the miscreants were." Demanding that the police take action and arrest those involved, Ramachandran says, “We strongly condemn this and demand for the bust to be renovated and protected from such incidents in the future.” Periyar Ninaivu Samathuvapuram in Kattunayakanpalli Panchayat has about 100 households and residents allege that this is the first time such an incident has taken place. People gathered near the statue raising slogans and demanding action, following which police had to intervene. Protestors were pacified with the promise that action would be taken. Speaking to TNM, a police personnel from Maharajakadai police station in Krishnagiri said investigations are currently going on. “There is a CCTV camera near a school in the vicinity, the footage of which might be helpful in nabbing the miscreants,” she said. In Sirkazhi, the Periyar statue was found smeared with holy ash and a tilak, as a form of insult. According to reports, photos of the Periyar statue with garland, ash and tilak was found circulating on social media following which the police swung into action. Sirkazhi police have filed a case against unknown assailants and are currently investigating. Samathuvapuram, which means ‘a place of equality’, are small clusters in Tamil Nadu where people are encouraged to live together, leaving aside caste and class barriers. M Karunanidhi introduced this scheme during his tenure as Chief Minister in 1997. While it was abandoned in 2001, when J Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK party came to power, Karunanidhi once again revived it in 2006, during his last term as Chief Minister.