Political links in temple desecration incidents disclosed by Andhra DGP; BJP, TDP workers among accused

Amongst the 21 people involved in the nine cases, 17 belong to TDP and four to BJP. 
Andhra Pradesh DGP D Gautam Sawang (File Photo | EPS)
Andhra Pradesh DGP D Gautam Sawang (File Photo | EPS)

VIJAYAWADA: In a sensational development, Andhra Pradesh State police chief Gautam Sawang on Friday released details of political links in the desecration of temple idol cases and false propaganda on social media. The involvement of 21 people belonging to TDP and BJP was identified and 15 of them have been arrested so far. Amongst the 21 people involved in nine cases, 17 belong to TDP and four to BJP. So far, 13 of those from TDP and two from BJP have been arrested.

The DGP’s disclosure lends some credence to the ruling YSRC’s allegation that the Opposition is involved in temple incidents with an intention to tarnish the image of the government. Understandably, the TDP was quick to dismiss the announcement, questioning the impartiality of the police. DGP Sawang, speaking at a presser here, said the investigation into the cases so far has revealed ‘deliberate’ attempts and involvement of vested interest groups and some political parties to disturb the communal harmony existing in the State.

According to the DGP, in the case related to allegation of desecration of a Lord Vinayaka idol in Rajamahendravaram on September 12, 2020, police during their investigation established that the material splashed on the idol was not impure as alleged by false propaganda. V Prasad Babu and Chitikena Sandeep, both from TDP, Adapa Varaprasad and Karturi Srinivasa Rao, both from BJP, were found involved. Prasad Babu was arrested.

The police also arrested TDP sympathiser Bojjana Subba Reddy of Kongalaveedu in Badvel mandal of Kadapa district for garlanding slippers to the statue of Anjaneya in his village. The incident happened on December 5, 2020 and was projected as some miscreants resorting to the mischief. In the case of Maddamma temple desecration incident on December 29, 2020 in Maddikera of Kurnool district, the police arrested eight people, including four TDP cadre - Golla Peddaiah of Kodmuru, Gadda Ramanjaneyulu of Guntakal, B Jayaramudu of Chippagiri and Syed Fakruddin of Dhone.

In the case of desecration of Sita Rama idol in Anjaneya temple located 3 km from Malamanda village in Kurnool on December 30, 2020, it came to light that while the electrician was arranging lighting he accidentally slipped on to the sculptures and caused damage. Temple committee chairman Viswanatha Reddy of TDP was arrested along with TDP priests and two journalists for false propaganda. The DGP appealed to people to come together and help the police in protecting religious places in the State and maintain peace and communal harmony.

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