Director-General of Police (DGP) D. Gautam Sawang has sounded alert in the State in wake of a series of attacks on temples and desecration of idols by some miscreants.
After the vandalism of Lord Sri Rama’s idol at Ramateertham temple in Vizianagaram district a couple of days ago, damage of goddess Sita Devi idol in Vijayawada on Sunday, Mr. Sawang directed the DIGs, Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Deputy SPs and the Station House Officers (SHOs) to step up vigil at temples.
He asked the police personnel to intensify patrolling and monitor the movement of strangers at shrines. CCTVs should be arranged at all the places of worship in the State immediately, the DGP said on Sunday.
“Miscreants are trying to disturb peace and create a law and order problem in the State. Police are making efforts to identify those who are resorting to attacks on temples and damaging the idols of gods and stern action will be taken against the culprits,” Mr. Sawang warned.
Break-up of cases
With regard to attacks on temples and damaging of idols, 290 cases were registered in 2015, 332 in 2016, 318 in 2017, 267 in 2018, 305 in 2019, and 228 cases were reported in 2020 and two such cases were registered in 2021, the DGP said.
He appealed to the villagers, community elders, members of Grama Rakshaka Dalams, temple trust board managements, families which have been taking care of small shrines to cooperate with the police and alert by dialling 100, if any person was found moving suspiciously in the villages.
“About 2,600 temples have been mapped in the State and notices issued to the temple managements to install CCTVs and arrange proper electrification at shrines. We are investigating the cases of ‘attacks on temples’ in all angles,” the State police chief said.
Police bound over about 8,250 persons, who committed similar offences in the last six years. Efforts were on trace the accused in the fresh cases, Mr. Sawang said.
“Public are requested not to be carried away by rumours and help the police in preventing desecration of temples and in maintaining law and order,” the DGP said.