BENGALURU: Tension prevailed at Rajarajeshwari Nagar and around Mysore Road on Thursday morning after thespian Rajkumar’s fans and Kannada activists learnt that some unidentified people had set fire to a bust of the actor and staged a protest demanding the immediate arrest of the miscreants.
The police said the incident took place in the early hours of Thursday at Bangarappa Nagar where the Dr Raj Seva Samiti had installed a replica of the actor’s character in the film ‘Sepoy Ramu’ film. They had planned to unveil the statue on November 23.
On Wednesday evening, the bust was being made of Plaster of Paris. On Thursday morning, a youth who was distributing newspapers in the area found the bust defaced and informed Samiti members and one Srinivas, who had given the order to make the idol.
Around 6.30 am, thousands of fans and Kannada activists gathered at the spot and staged a protest shouting slogans against the accused and demanded their immediate arrest.
Following the incident, Home Minister K J George, District In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy and local leaders visited the spot and assured the protesters that the police would arrest the miscreants and take strict action against them.
Then, the situation came under control.
Additional Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar asked the policemen to maintain law and order in the area.
The police, who were alerted about the incident, rushed to the spot with CAR policemen and assured them that they would arrest the miscreants as soon as possible and said a special team is probing the case.
The FSL experts and sniffer squad were pressed into service to gather evidence.
A senior police officer said the miscreants had put kerosene after placing a plastic cover on the bust and set it on fire. The bust has been partially damaged, they said. Preliminary investigation revealed that there were differences among the locals on installing the bust at the spot. There is also no clarity on who the land on which the bust is installed belongs to. It is also learnt that it belongs to a trust which wanted to construct a temple there. Some people said it is a BBMP property.
Meanwhile, it is said that an organisation wanted to install actor Shankar Nag’s bust while another had plans to install Ambedkar’s statue. However, the exact reason behind the incident is not yet known. The police have detained some suspects and are questioning them.
Minister George said another bust of Rajkumar would be made and inaugurated on November 23.