Self-proclaimed doomsayer behind desecration of shrines

Self-proclaimed doomsayer behind desecration of shrines

62-year-old self-proclaimed doomsayer Devdas Desai

The mystery surrounding the desecration of dozens of shrines in and around Mangaluru was cracked with the arrest of a 62-year-old self-proclaimed doomsayer Devdas Desai, from Kondana in Kotekaru, on the city’s outskirts.

Mangaluru Commissioner of Police N Shashikumar told media persons on Wednesday that Devdas Desai, who hails from Hubballi, had confessed to desecrating dozens of shrines by planting used condoms and written material abusing Hindu gods and goddesses.

Police also recovered materials and inflammatory letters in his handwriting, during a search carried out in Devdas’ house in Kondana.

Commissioner Shashikumar said Desai, who had come to Mangaluru looking for a job in 1999, had done odd jobs like working as a taxi driver, an auto-rickshaw driver and finally sold cardboard carton boxes.

On January 2, 2021, Devdas first desecrated the Babbuswamy shrine at Babugudde in south police station limits, by planting two used condoms, fancy currency notes and inflammatory writings on a white paper.

Besides shrines dedicated to Koragajja and Babbuswamy, highly venerated by the devotees, he also had desecrated Darghas and Gurudwaras by placing condoms in the offering boxes.

“Though many shrines had been desecrated from January to December, only a few complaints had been filed with the police,” the Commissioner told media persons.

Desai, confessing to having planted used condoms picked up from a park near State Bank, said that his 15 years of intense study of the Bible had helped him realise that the doomsday was near.

‘Step towards salvation’

“In order to ensure that the first step towards salvation was to make people believe in Jesus, I began desecrating shrines to help them realise that their gods were powerless,” informs Desai, who has been leading a lonely life after being separated from his wife and daughter in 2000.

Desai says he had no regrets for hurting the sentiments of the devotees with his acts and spending the remaining years of his life in jail.

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