One detained over pillar desecration at Hampi

Police inspect the damage to the pillars in Hampi

The police on Saturday detained a youth after a video showing three men purportedly damaging a pillar at Vishnu Temple behind Elephant Stable at Hampi went viral on social media. 

The video shows three men grounding a pillar of the temple. Before grounding, peak of the pillar gets disjointed. After the grounding, the youths celebrate their act. The video also shows five other pillars grounded with peaks disjointed. 

The incident came to light after Ayush Sahu, a Bengaluru resident, posted the video on Instagram seeking action against the suspects on Friday.

The incident comes within weeks after Hampi was ranked second on the New York Times list of “52 places to Go in 2019.” Hampi, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986, is the only Indian destination to feature in the list.

"The police suspect the involvement of four men in the desecration. The police will arrest the suspects at the earliest," Bellari SP Arun Rangarajan told reporters.

The SP added:"The incident might have taken place about six months ago. The Archaeological Survey of India authorities suspect that the incident might have occurred two years ago."

The detention triggered tension as local residents staged a flash protest in front of Kamalapur police station. They accused the police of detaining the youth without reasons. 

The protesters even had arguments with the SP and wanted him to justify the police act or release the youth immediately.

Samana Manaskara Vedike members blocked Kampli-Hosapete Road seeking immediate action against the suspect. They also sought protection to monuments in Hampi.

Water Resources Minister and Ballari District In-Charge Minister DK Shivakumar said that stern action would be taken against those involved in the incident.

“We will not tolerate acts of damaging historical sites,” he said in a statement.

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One detained over pillar desecration at Hampi

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