Jaisalmer: A former government doctor was arrested for allegedly damaging the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the city’s Hanuman Chauraha on Wednesday evening. The doctor, described by locals as an eccentric person, was annoyed by reports of Ambedkar statues being vandalised in other states. The police said there were several criminal cases against the doctor, following which the government had terminated his services sometime back.
Dr Ashok Meghwal damaged the face and the specs of the Gandhi statue with a sharp-edged weapon. The police reached the spot and arrested the doctor, who is a native of Pali and a regular traveller to Jaisalmer district where he was once posted in a rural area.
There was resentment in the city after the incident. Gandhian thinkers and city’s prominent persons have called an all-religion meeting at the spot on Thursday.
Former municipal council chairman Ashok Tanwar, who was an eyewitness to the defacement, said the middle-aged doctor climbed the statue and started damaging its face and body. He was about to break the statue when a large number of people gathered and stopped him.
On getting information, kotwali police station incharge Deravar Singh reached the spot and arrested Dr Meghwal, who started shouting and said breaking statues of Ambedkar in other parts of the country was equally wrong. He claimed that an Ambedkar statute was damaged in Jaisalmer around a year ago. The doctor said he wrote to the district collector and the IGP about it but the culprits were yet to be caught.