ASI takes serious note of vandalism at Hampi

Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Hampi Mini Circle, Kalimuthu (sitting) makes note of cob-webs and termites under the fallen pillar at the Vishnu Temple in Hampi, which was vandalised by miscreants.  

Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Mini Circle, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Hampi, Kalimuthu, while admitting that miscreants had indulged in an act of vandalism at the world famous Hampi, which enjoys the world heritage status, was of the view that the incident might have occurred at least a year ago.

Mr. Kalimuthu, along with his staff, visited the spot where a granite pillar in the prakara of the ancient Vishnu Temple, behind the Elephant Stables at Hampi, had been pulled down by miscreants during their visit to Hampi.

“In the absence of any fresh evidences/marks to show that the pillar was brought down recently, I feel that the act of vandalism might have occurred at least a year ago. For, we can see cobwebs in the corner of the pillar and termite under the fallen pillar,” he told The Hindu on Sunday.

The act of vandalism came to light after a video in which three youths are seen pushing the granite pillar went viral on social media. It has drawn a lot of criticism over the poor maintenance of the ancient monuments and improper security arrangements there.

Show-cause notices

Mr. Kalimuthu said that he had viewed the incident very seriously and would be issuing show-cause notices to his staff seeking an explanation why the incident, which might have occurred a year ago, was not brought to the notice of the higher-ups. “I will not only initiate disciplinary action against the staff concerned for dereliction of duty but would also pursue the matter with the police, with whom we have already lodged a complaint under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Remains Act, to conduct a thorough investigation and bring the guilty to book,” he said.

The Hindu saw that but for one, all the granite pillars in the prakara had fallen down. Some of the pillars on the eastern side, attached to the compound wall, were broken into pieces after being pulled down, while the pillars on the western side, including the one that was pushed down by the miscreants and fallen on the ground, were intact. The pillars, with a sizeable square base, were standing on its own. There were no grooves or any bonding.

Mr. Kalimuthu said that he would be forwarding a report to his higher-ups along with a proposal to resurrect them.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 11:23:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/asi-takes-serious-note-of-vandalism-at-hampi/article26169626.ece

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