A statue of Gautama Buddha was stolen from a village in Muzaffarnagar district, triggering protest by Dalits, police said on Tuesday.

The statue was stolen from Guyana Majra village on Monday, Charthawal police station SHO G C Sharma.

Soon after the news spread, angry Dalit villagers staged a protest in the western Uttar Pradesh district, police said.

Police have launched a search for the accused.