Hyderabad: A picture of a headless statue is viral on social media with the claim that this sculpture belongs to a martyred soldier of Gujarat.
Netizens claimed that it was destroyed because the soldier belonged to Dalit community.
"Look how cruel the mentality of the people is. And we are dreaming of becoming the world leader. One word for such kind of people. A young man of Gujarat martyred for the country. A memorial was built in his honour. He was from a scheduled caste community and, people could not tolerate it. And they destroyed the memorial," read the English translation of a Hindi post by a netizen on Facebook
The archived version is here.
The statue seen in the picture is of martyr Mahesh Pal, who was NOT from the Dalit community.
NewsMeter did a Google reverse image search and found that the viral photo is of a tweet from July 2018. According to the tweet, this statue is of Shaheed Mahesh Pal Singh. The memorial is located in Dhanonda village of Mahendragarh district of Haryana. With the help of some keywords, we also got some news related to this.
According to Daily Bhasker, police arrested an accused identified as Ajay. According to Ajay, his family had an altercation with a village sarpanch. To discredit the sarpanch, he beheaded the statue of the martyr Mahesh Pal.
According to Dainik Jagran, in July 2018, some mischievous elements in Dhanaunda village of Kanina block demolished the statue of Shaheed Mahesh Pal. The villagers later staged a sit-in protest.
A report in Punjab Kesari stated that the martyr Mahesh Pal was part of the Rajputana Rifles. In 1988 he went to Sri Lanka as a part of Shanti Sena. On Jan 17, 1989, Mahesh Pal died in an encounter with terrorists in Jaffana sector. His statue was unveiled in January 2014.
The martyred soldier belonged to the Rajput family and not the Dalit community. His statue is in Dhanunda, a village in Haryana and not Gujarat.
Hence, the claim is FALSE.