Tensions arose in the Sundarapuram area in Coimbatore after a few unidentified individuals threw saffron paint on the statue of late social activist Periyar E V Ramasamy in the early hours of Friday. The incident quickly came to the notice of Periyarists and a sizable number of them arrived at the spot, who staged a protest and demanded the arrest of the culprits behind the dishonourable act.

Soon after protests began, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) G Stalin visited the spot and pacified the protestors saying stern and quick action would be taken against the wrongdoers. A case has been registered by the police, who are collecting CCTV footage from commercial establishments and residences in the vicinity. 

The Periyar statue was cleaned off of the saffron paint by the police and the late social reformer's supporters. Police personnel clad in personal protective equipment (PPE) kit in view of the coronavirus pandemic have been stationed to oversee no untoward incidents happen again. Furthermore, five more Periyar statues and three Dr B R Ambedkar statues in Coimbatore have been ordered for strong police surveillance. It is to be noted that the Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani inaugurated the statue, which was installed by the Thanthai Periyar Pasarai 25 years back. 

Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi took to Twitter and shared her views about the incident saying, "A group, which can never rise to power in Tamil Nadu, has the objectionable habit of degrading statues of Periyar. Why has the government failed to take strict action on these people? It is not a surprise that this ADMK government, which is not concerned with dignity and self-respect, always keeps quiet when Thanthai Periyar's statues are belittled. Stringent action should be initiated immediately on this group, which is bent upon creating social disharmony in the society."