Tension in Ramanagar after drug addict vandalises temple

Tension in Ramanagar after drug addict vandalises temple

Tension prevailed in the communally-sensitive Ramanagar town on Sunday morning after news spread that a miscreant—said to be a drug addict—had vandalised the Arakeshwara Swamy temple.

Traffic was disrupted on the busy Bangalore-Mysore highway as people blocked the road in protest against the incident and demanded stern action against the youth who had damaged the temple. The protesters, who blocked the highway for about half an hour, later dispersed and vehicular movement was restored.

According to the police, a 20-year-old man, said to be a drug addict, barged into the temple situated on Choultry Street in the town around 6.15 am and damaged the door and gopura (tower).

He also dumped non-vegetarian food on the temple premises. The priest, Nagaraj Shastri, who opened the temple door, found someone moving inside the premises and that the place dirty. He tried nabbing the intruder but in vain. The youth, who is a resident of the town, is alleged to have attacked the priest and tried to flee.

But as Shastri screamed, neighbours and passersby rushed to the temple. They saw the man trying to flee and chased him down. They also found the temple vandalised. The priest told them about some non-vegetarian food being dumped on the premises. The furious public then thrashed the youth before handing him over to the police.

Meanwhile, as the news spread across the town, the general public as well as activists of Hindu organisations started gathering near the temple. They staged a protest and demanded strict action against the suspect. As the crowd started swelling, policemen at the spot alerted the control room, and about 100 police personnel were deployed across the town. They ensured that the situation did not go out of control and no untoward incident took place, said a senior police officer.

Shops and commercial establishments in the town downed shutters fearing trouble. The police conducted a peace meeting from 2 pm to 4 pm and pacified the protestors by assuring them that appropriate action would be taken against the culprit. The police said they had arrested the youth who is suspected to have acted under the influence of drugs.

Inspector General of Police (Central Range) Syed Ulfat Hussain and other senior police officers visited the temple and monitored the situation.

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