Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang said that the state police have cracked five cases related to crimes in places of worship in the state. His comments come in the wake of a series of crimes in places of worship.
The DGP said that three cases occurred in Kurnool, one in Guntur Rural and another in West Godavari district. "In Kurnool district, a case regarding theft in a temple was detected using CCTV footage by the Nandyal town police. The CCTV footage revealed that two minor girls under the guise of picking up trash committed theft from the temple's hundi," said Sawang.
In another case in Kurnool, treasure hunters entered a darga in the midnight, looking for some valuables but found nothing. "Unable to find any treasure, they broke the hundi and committed a theft. Ten accused were identified and five of them have been arrested," said the DGP.
In the third case in the same district, the walls of a mosque in Adoni were vandalised and some religious inscriptions were scrawled on them. "Religious inscriptions from other faiths were written on the walls by unknown offenders. The offenders were identified through CCTV footage and have been arrested," said the top cop.
Similarly, in West Godavari district, the police identified two juveniles in a temple hundi theft case. Guntur Rural police busted a fake post which claimed that assailants desecrated Saraswati idol in Narsaraopet. Police said that the idol was partially damaged during renovation work taken up two years ago but miscreants used the pics to spread false information.
After the incident in Antarvedi Temple, Sawang said 33 cases were registered related to crimes in places of worship, 27 of which have been detected and three inter-state gangs have been busted.
"Showcasing these non-related incidents, some anti-social elements in the society have been trying to build a narrative disturbing social and communal harmony and attempting to damage the secular fabric of the state," the DGP pointed out.
He said some sections of people are also using social media to further their ill intentions.
"The police will not tolerate such activities and stern action will be taken against the wrongdoers. We appeal to all the citizens to exercise caution and check the veracity of news before sharing them," said Sawang.
"The police are preserving the sanctity of all places of worship besides taking all possible measures to protect such places," he added.
Post the Antarvedi Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple chariot blaze on September 5 in East Godavari district, religious politics is raging in Andhra Pradesh, a state which has been immune to such developments until recently.
Earlier last week Chittoor district police arrested an interstate treasure hunting gang of 8 members after a Nandi idol was damaged in a temple at GD Nellore.
(With IANS inputs )