J&K police start probe into temple vandalism incident at Anantnag

A picture that went viral online showed a portion of the Mata Bargah Shakha Temple damaged from inside by unknown miscreants.

October 03, 2021 12:57 pm | Updated 12:57 pm IST - Srinagar:

The Jammu and Kashmir police have started a probe into an incident of desecration and vandalism of a temple in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on October 2.

“A senior police officer is looking into the incident,” an official told The Hindu.

The police have lodged an FIR into the act of vandalism under Section 295, 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

A picture of the Mata Bargah Shakha Temple, located near the sun temple at Martand in Anantnag, went viral online on October 2. It showed a portion of the temple damaged from inside by unknown miscreants.

The incident evoked protests from Kashmiri Pandits. Several migrant Pandits living in the Jagti Township of Jammu also protested against the incident and described it as “an act of cowardice”.

Jammu and Kashmir’s regional political parties have also condemned the incident.

“Pained and disturbed by reports of malicious damage and vandalism at the Mata temple in Mattan. Need of the hour is to reassure our Pandit brethren. Request SSP Anantnag & DC Anantnag to look into the matter immediately,” Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah termed the act as “unacceptable”. “I strongly condemn this vandalism and urge the administration, especially the police, to identify the culprits so they can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Abdullah said.

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