In a major revelation, Andhra Director General Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang on Friday alleged that opposition political parties were behind the series of attacks on Hindu temples in the state.
Addressing the media, DGP said that 15 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members and 4 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres were involved in as many as 9 cases of idol destruction, desecration and spreading fake news on temple-related incidents.
DGP stated that of this 13 TDP activists and 2 BJP activists/cadres have already been arrested while the remaining six are absconding. The DGP said, "The investigation of the cases so far has revealed deliberate attempts and involvement vested interest groups and some political parties who seem to be behind these incidents as well as false propaganda, false publicity in an attempt to disturb the communal harmony that is existing in the state. In nine cases, there is a direct and specific involvement of political party members or affiliates."
Two BJP and two TDP members have been accused of spreading false news about the desecration of a Vinayaka idol in Bommaru in September 2020. In another case a TDP member has been accused of placing a garland of chappals on an Anjaneya statue in Badvel to create confusion over a land issue. In yet another case, 8 people including 4 TDP members were arrested desecrating a Madamma temple in Maddikera of Kurnool district in pursuit of treasure.A TDP member has also been arrested for spreading fake news that a Vinayaka idolâ€™s hands were cut off in Golugonda mandal in Visakhapatnam.
He further stated that the involvement of political party affiliates in specific incidents is "part of a larger design or a game plan."
The role of political parties was concluded by the ongoing investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The DGP urged the group's political parties to refrain from "wrongful activities" and indulge in false publicity, propaganda.
The DGP said that so far 180 temple related crimes have been cracked and 337 people arrested for their alleged involvement. As many as 4643 offenders/communal suspects have been bound over so far according to DGP.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of senior IPS officer GVG Ashok Kumar, Additional Director, Anti-Corruption Bureau, is probing into the alleged attacks on temples in the state.The state agencies agencies like the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) are aiding the SIT in the probe.
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