In a shocking incident in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district, unknown miscreants desecrated the Nandi idol placed in a Lord Shiva temple. The incident that occurred in Agara Mangalam village in Gangadhara Nellore Mandal is the fifth temple that has been desecrated this month.
But the series of incidents disrespecting Hindu idols has ignited a sense of communal tension as some miscreants have it a different motive to disrupt harmony. To ease such tensions, the Andhra Pradesh Police have come forward to clear any such rumours.
There have been posts and messages linking the series of incidents involving theft or desecration of Hindu idols in Andhra Pradesh. It is widely led to believe that these are targeted attacks and a result of communal conflict.
In order to get ahead of the situation and control it before it sparks violence in the district. Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, in a series of videos shared on AP Police Twitter handle, warned of dire consequences for those who indulge in spreading hate and attempt to play with people's sentiments.
Don't fall prey to lies being propagated by certain individuals.— Andhra Pradesh Police (@APPOLICE100) September 28, 2020
"Don't get carried away. Go by the facts & if there are any evidences, information or concerns, please reach out to the police. I personally assure that we'll respond promptly & investigate." - #APDGP #FactCheck pic.twitter.com/qyHtMeDXfO
Attempts to play with the sentiments of citizens by linking absolutely unrelated incidents in order to spin the narrative is wrong & will be taken very seriously. It is a crime to spread hate and strict action will be taken.#FactCheck #appolice #AndhraPradeshTemples #APDGP pic.twitter.com/Frue6gk9wx— Andhra Pradesh Police (@APPOLICE100) September 28, 2020
12 out of 19 cases of attacks against temples cracked, accused arrested. Strict action will be taken against anyone who resorts to attacking places of worship. We request the citizens to act responsibly and respect the rights of each person around them.#FactCheck #appolice pic.twitter.com/fG8QTjXKdA— Andhra Pradesh Police (@APPOLICE100) September 28, 2020
"Each of these cases has a different motive, but there have been concerted efforts to link them together and build a narrative. While some incidents were a result of superstition and erosion, a probe is underway in others. We have arrested some persons who were found trying to spin stories around these cases because it creates communal disharmony," DGP Sawang clarified.
The DGP urged people, saying: "Don't get carried away. Go by the facts & if there are any evidences, information or concerns, please reach out to the police. I personally assure that we'll respond promptly & investigate."
Adding more details from the investigation, Chittoor Deputy Superintendent of Police K Eswar Reddy, who has assigned three special teams to investigate the crime, said that the "Nandi idol, which was made with black stone, had developed cracks a few years ago. Then the village elders and temple committee members filled the cracks with 'seesam' [a lead-like liquid]. Following this, a rumour circulated that gold is kept under the Nandi idol. In their greed for gold, the culprits might have shifted the Nandi statue behind the temple and broke it."