Eight persons arrested on charge of defiling nagabanas

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar speaking at a press conference in Mangaluru on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The city police have arrested eight persons on the charge of desecrating two places of worship in the city recently.

Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar gave the names of the accused as Safwan, 25, Mohammed Suhaib, 23, Praveen Anil Monterio, 27, Nikilesh, 22, Jayanth Kumar, 30, Prateek, 24, Manjunath, 30, and Naushad Arehalli, 30.

A group of miscreants entered nagabanas in Kuloor between October 20 and October 23 and had thrown six idols of the snake god to a nearby slushy place. Similarly, another idol was thrown outside the sanctum santorum of the nagabana in Kodical on November 12.

Protesting against the desecration, the Bajarang Dal and the VHP activists had called for a Kodical bandh and demanded the arrest of those responsible by December 6. They had also called for a district bandh if police failed to do so. A team comprising Deputy Commissioners of Police Hariram Shankar and B.P. Dinesh Kumar and Assistant Commissioners of Police Mahesh Kumar and P.A. Hedge was formed.

Mr. Kumar told reporters that following a month-long investigation, the police traced two persons. Then they secured the other accused.

The questioning of the accused, he said, revealed that Safwan had recently met one Shakir, who was arrested two months ago by the Bajpe police in connection with a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

He said that Shakir then asked Safwan to carry out any activity which could create communal tension. Safwan and Suhaib were also reportedly upset over the recent patrolling of police following chain-snatching incidents, in which two of their friends had been arrested.

They wanted to carry out an emotionally disturbing activity and divert the attention of the police away from chain-snatching, he said.

On October 18, Safwan and the other accused persons reportedly had a discussion in a bar in Panjimogaru and it was decided to desecrate some nagabanas.

Monterio reportedly agreed to pay ₹10,000, and ₹5,000 was paid soon after the desecration of the nagabana in Kuloor.

On November 12 night, the accused threw out the idol and ran away and then took shelter in the house of Arehalli in Beluru of Hassan District, the Police Commissioner said.

Safwan was an accused in two cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substaces Act, while Suhaib was an accused in a case under the NDPS Act. Monterio was accused in theft, dacoity, and preparation to commit dacoity cases. Jayant Kumar was an accused in a NDPS and a theft case. Mr. Kumar said the search is on to trace other persons associated with the arrested persons.

Mr. Kumar said the city police have started a special beat under which surprise visits are made at regular intervals to places of worship.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 9:24:39 AM |

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