The investigation over the appearance of a flag on the statue of Shankaracharya in Sringeri in Chikkamagaluru district town on Thursday indicated that a 28-year-old man named Milind mistakenly draped the flag over the saint.
"...The person had consumed alcohol and under its influence and to cover himself from rain, he had taken a banner from Sringeri Jamiya Mosque, which was used during Eid-Milad festival and had placed the same over a pavilion on the statue of Shree Shankaracharya," Chikkamagaluru SP Hakay Akshay Machindra said in a statement.
The statue of Shankaracharya is located at Veerappa Gowda Circle in the town. A case was registered in the Sringeri Police Station after the flag was spotted.
Initially, there was tension over the flag's appearance. BJP leaders claimed that the flag found on the statue of Shankaracharya was the party flag of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
However, police officials clarified that the flag only resembled the SDPI's flag but it was a banner taken from the Jamiya Mosque in Sringeri by Milind who wanted to protect himself from the cold at night. He is a coolie worker from Chikkamagaluru.
"Under the influence of alcohol, the person had brought a banner from a mosque that reflected a religion and had placed the same over a pavilion on the statue of Shree Shankaracharya," read the SP's statement.
Despite the clarification, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje of the BJP continued to criticise SDPI and called for a ban on the organisation. It is to be noted that SDPI has been accused of engineering the riot in Bengaluru recently. and those parts of the tweets are true.
5. Planting SDPI flag on Sri Shankaracharya's statue in Sringeri & inciting violence.â€” Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) August 14, 2020
It's high time that, Govt led by Sri @BSYBJP recommends central govt to ban this terror outfit.
Orgs like SDPI & PFI are threat to mankind, national security & for a harmonious society.
But police officials investigating the incident said that the person who draped the flag on the statue did not belong to a political party or organisation and that it was not done on purpose.
Police officials investigating the incident said that Milind had taken the banner to cover himself since it was raining heavily and police officials said that he decided to place the banner over a pavilion on the statue of Shankaracharya.
"During interrogation, the person admitted that under the influence of alcohol, he had placed a cloth belonging to one God over another God. He also revealed that as it was raining heavily, he took that banner to cover himself. After knowing that the banner relates to a God, he thought of giving it to another God and placed the banner over a pavilion on the statue of Shree Shankaracharya," the SP added.
Police zeroed in on Milind after spotting him in a CCTV footage from the area. He admitted to the police of his actions.
Adi Shankaracharya is an 8th century philosopher and Sringeri, situated on the banks of the river Tunga in Chikkamagaluru district, was the location of the first mutt established by him.