Statue desecration: Mentally-deranged person arrested

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Madurai, Apr 22 (UNI) A day after the desecration of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar statue in the city, a 40-year-old mentally-deranged person was today detained by the police in this connection.

The incident had triggered sporadic violence in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu yesterday.

Madurai City Police Commissioner K Nanda Balan told newspersons here that the man was identified as Thiruvazhagu, hailing from Lingawadi village in Natham Taluk of Dindigul district.

He said Jayadoss, an Armed Reserve (AR) constable, who was guarding the statue at Goripalayam in the city, found Thiruvazhagu moving in a suspicious manner near the statue with a bag on the wee hours.

The constable immediately caught hold of Thiruvazhagu and searched his bag. The bag contained one bottle of water and two bottles filled with human excreta mixed with water, besides the life history of former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein.

He was taken to the Tallakulam police station for interrogation.

During interrogation, he confessed that he had defaced the statue yesterday with human excreta and cow dung. There should be no statues in the country, he told the investigating team.

The commissioner said investigations revealed that Thiruvazhagu had undergone treatment for mental illness at the famous Yerwadi Dargah in Ramanathapuram district. At present, he was taking treatment at a local Dargah in Goripalayam.

Police were investigating whether he was really a patient or acting like a mentally-deranged person, since he possessed the life history of Saddam Hussein, he said.

To a query, he said 15 buses were damaged and police had arrested nine people in this connection. A search was on to nab a few more people in this connection, he added.

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